2019 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Awards Application Instructions and FAQs

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

  • Deadline for new enrollments, total declared majors, and graduation data submission: July 13, 2018
  • Deadline for application submission: September 21, 2018 (midnight PDT)
  • Award recipients notified: February 28, 2019
  • NCWIT Summit: May 14-16, 2019

HOW TO APPLY

The Process

To start the application process, please contact es@ncwit.org to confirm your organization's eligibility and gain access to the application portal.

Eligibility

Applicants must be former or current clients of NCWIT’s Extension Services and be current members of NCWIT’s Academic Alliance. Applicants will be considered for both the grand prize and second place awards, but no Applicant will be awarded more than one NEXT Award in a given awards cycle. Awards can only be sent to U.S. non-profit institutions that submit an IRS form W9. Departments of all sizes are encouraged to apply.

Tracking Tool Data

All award applicants must submit up-to-date, multi-year data to es@ncwit.org using the pre-formatted spreadsheet you received when your application was initiated. (Note that the deadline for data submission is July 13, 2018). At a minimum, applicants must submit new enrollments, total declared majors, and graduation data for females and males for the last five years (the latest year available and for each of the 4 years prior), or for all of the years from when they began their work with Extension Services to the most recent year, whichever is greater.

Extension Service staff will create the required charts and return them to the point of contact within 15 business days of data submission. These will be your institutional data chart(s) to be submitted with your application. If there is anything that might have bearing on the interpretation of this data (e.g., how it is collected, changes in terminology or designations across the years, changes in programs), note it here.

Required Elements of the Application

Information

  1. Institution’s Name (i.e., the university or college)
  2. Formal Name(s) of the Department(s) applying for NEXT Award
  3. Name, title, and contact information for one individual to serve as the point of contact for the Application
  4. Names, titles, and contact information for other members of the collaborative team
  5. Name(s) of the Extension Services Consultant(s) who worked with the team
  6. Dates of the collaborative team’s work with NCWIT (as AA Member and as ES Client)

Application Abstract

Application Narrative

Institutional Data Chart(s)

Institutional Letter of Support

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

A PDF of these instructions is available as a download here.

Download Instructions

Purpose

The purpose of the application is for your team to explain and provide evidence of the evolution of your program’s recruiting and retention initiatives that are focused on increasing women’s participation in your majors and the corresponding impact of your work with NCWIT’s Extension Services. In preparing this information, begin with the status of your program prior to your work with NCWIT and continue until the present day. Also, please include any relevant future initiatives that emerge from your strategic recruitment and retention plans. (Please note, however, that the application is for an award that recognizes past work and results obtained thus far, rather than a grant proposal to fund future plans.)

When considering what to include, you may find it helpful to refer to the Extension Services Activity Reference Sheet, and if applicable, to your department’s strategic recruiting plan, strategic retention plan, or final report.

Formatting

Application abstracts will be a one page document with a maximum of 500 words. Application narratives should be a maximum of 10 pages. Both abstracts and application narratives should be formatted with 1 inch margins, Times New Roman 12 pt font or equivalent, and 1.15 spaced lines. All pages should be numbered and include a header with your institution’s name. Incomplete or incorrectly formatted applications will not be considered for review.

Content

Each application should include an abstract, application narrative, and additional documentation consisting of institutional data chart(s) and an institutional letter of support.

Abstract

The abstract should be a maximum of 500 words which summarizes your application narrative and acts as an executive summary. Remember: Your application will be read in full by a subset of the committee, who will then present your materials to the committee as a whole. The entire committee, however, will review your abstract so be sure to provide a clear summary of your work detailed in the full application.

Application Narrative

All application narratives must include the sections outlined below using letters (A-F) and the bolded text as section headings. If you would like to reference other supporting documents, include a hyperlink to that document in your narrative. Examples might include a marketing brochure, video, revised departmental website, additional charts or tables, or your department’s strategic recruiting or retention plans. In addition, we encourage you to include testimonials or quotes, throughout your application narrative, to address the impact of the recruitment and/or retention strategies. The testimonials or quotes should be from individuals who are not on the applying team. These individuals may include internal departmental representatives as well as those who are external to the department(s). Examples include students, alumni, advisors/counselors, or others who have a personal perspective regarding your program.

A. Introduction: Please describe any characteristics of your program and institution that is important for understanding the context in which your efforts take place. Each program and institution are different and sharing information that describes the context is helpful to the review committee. Examples might include the challenge of recruiting in a rural area or the benefits of being in a technology zone; the institutional context (e.g., being located in an engineering school, or conversely, a liberal arts college); resource limitations (e.g., cuts to faculty, burgeoning enrollments); opportunities (e.g., creating a new school or new majors, ability to cross-list courses); and other institutional details that put your quantitative outcomes into context.

B. Recruitment Strategies: In sharing information about your recruitment strategies, include the following:

  • Status of your program in terms of recruiting women from when you began your work with NCWIT to the present day;
  • Contextual information that will help the committee understand your program’s (and possibly your institution’s and community’s) unique situation in terms of recruiting students;
  • Recruitment strategies your program has used and is currently implementing to recruit more women, and the evaluation efforts implemented to determine whether the initiatives are successful (include any NCWIT resources and/or strategies as well as those from other organizations that helped shape your efforts); and
  • Challenges you met and how you overcame them.

Reminder: Refer to the charts included in this application and any other data that support your response.

C. Retention Strategies: When sharing information about your retention strategies, include the following:

  • Status of your program in terms of retaining women from when you began your work with NCWIT to the present day;
  • Contextual information that will help the committee understand your program’s (and possibly your institution’s and community’s) unique situation in terms of retaining students;
  • Retention strategies, e.g., pedagogical, curricular, or student support interventions, your program has used and is currently using to retain more women and the evaluation efforts implemented to determine whether the initiatives are successful (include any NCWIT resources and/or strategies as well as those from other organizations that helped shape your efforts); and
  • Challenges you met and how you overcame them.

Reminder: Refer to the charts included in this application and any other data that support your response.

D. Institutional Support and Sustainability: In this section, include the following:

  • Evidence of institutional support for your recruitment and retention efforts such as financial and staff resources, new positions, policy or curriculum changes, faculty release time for recruitment and retention leadership, seed funds, leadership’s active engagement, standing committee creation and financial support, and awards to recognize faculty members actively involved in systemic change;
  • Plans for ensuring how your current recruitment and retention gains will be sustained over time and your team’s vision moving forward; and
  • Brief description of how the award money will be used.

E. Comprehensive Evaluation Strategy: In this section, include the following:

  • Discussion of how your comprehensive approach to evaluation shapes your overall recruitment and retention efforts;
  • Assessments used to identify your program’s strengths and weaknesses and to judge the effectiveness of your efforts; and
  • Information regarding the role that comprehensive evaluation will play in guiding your future recruitment and retention plans.

F. Comprehensive Evaluation Strategy: In this section, include information regarding how your department has shared its successful strategies with the teaching and research community:

  • Examples might include conference presentations, published papers, or instances of spreading successful practices to other departments, institutions, or members of your community, including high school teachers, who have the potential to influence the participation of women and girls in computing.

Additional Documentation

With your application you will also need to include your institutional data chart(s) and your institutional letter of support.

A. Institutional Data Charts: These are the charts you received back from Extension Services based on your submitted Tracking Tool data. All charts should show trends for at least five years and be submitted as a PDF. A separate chart should be submitted for each major included in the application and each chart should contain the following data:

  • Line 1: New Enrollments for Females
  • Line 2: Total Declared Majors for Females
  • Line 3: Graduations for Females

Note: If you choose to include additional charts or tables with your application, they may be included in the narrative section (which must not exceed the 10 page limit), or linked to using hyperlinks.

B. Institutional Letter of Support: Attain a signed letter of support from an appropriate institutional leader (e.g., the department chair, dean, vice president, or provost) that expresses institutional commitment to the work detailed in the application. The letter should be on institutional letterhead, be no more than one page, and be submitted as a PDF.

APPLICATION REVIEW

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee made up of NCWIT Academic Alliance members; NCWIT Social Science Advisory Board members who are experts in organizational change and diversity, and computer science education; NCWIT Extension Service Consultants; and NCWIT staff social scientists.

Review Criteria

  1. Progress: Considering the institution’s unique situation and challenges, how compelling are the gains that have been made in recruiting and retaining women to their program? (30%)
  2. Recruitment Efforts: How well suited for the particular context and situation is the slate of recruitment practices that are described? How compelling is the evidence of their effectiveness? (20%)
  3. Retention Efforts: How well suited for the particular context and situation is the slate of retention practices that are described? How compelling is the evidence of their effectiveness? (20%)
  4. Institutional Support and Sustainability: Are there adequate resources (e.g. funds, personnel, expertise, and information) for planning and implementing the recruitment and retention strategies? Is there strong institutional support? Is there evidence that the change is systemic? How strong is the vision moving forward in terms of development of programs, initiatives, and human resources? (20%)
  5. Evaluation: How effectively has evaluation been used to shape recruitment and retention efforts? Do ongoing plans include evaluation? (5%)
  6. Dissemination: How engaged is the applicant in external outreach activities to the teaching and research community (5%)

AWARD RECIPIENT AGREEMENTS:

  • Awardees agree to allow NCWIT to use their names (organization and individuals) in any press related to the award.
  • Awardees agree that information contained in an awardee’s application may be used by NCWIT to create new resources and in publicity. NCWIT agrees to provide right of review prior to publication to the institution’s designated point of contact.
  • Awardees agree to send at least one representative to the NCWIT Summit where they will be presented with the award. Travel funds are provided by NCWIT, separate from the award amount, for one representative.
  • For internal NCWIT evaluation purposes, within 12 months of the award date, awardees agree to communicate with the NCWIT External Evaluator to provide feedback regarding the application process and assess the effects of the award.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  1. Who is eligible to apply?

    Any former or current client of NCWIT’s Extension Services is eligible to apply. Applicants must be current members of NCWIT’s Academic Alliance. Applicants may not win multiple awards in one year.
  2. How do we start the application process?

    To start the application process, please contact es@ncwit.org to confirm your organization's eligibility and gain access to the application portal.
  3. Will multiple proposal applications be considered from the same institution?

    Applications should be submitted by the department (or departments, in collaborative situations) that worked with NCWIT Extension Services. In some rare cases, there may be different teams from an institution that worked with Extension Services at different times. In these cases, separate applications may be submitted. Extension Services (es@ncwit.org) will help you determine your eligibility.
  4. Can individuals from schools that are applying for an award sit on the Award Review Committee?

    No. Individuals who are employees or otherwise affiliated with an Award Applicant institution may not serve on the Award Review Committee.
  5. How do we submit our admissions, enrollments, and graduations data?

    When you contact Extension Services to initiate your application, you will receive a pre-formatted spreadsheet in which to enter your data. At a minimum, applicants must submit new enrollments, total declared majors, and graduation data. After you submit the completed spreadsheet, within 15 business days Extension Services staff will create and return the necessary charts to you, to be included with your application. The deadline for submitting the data is July 13, 2018. You may need to work with your office of institutional research to obtain these numbers. Please contact es@ncwit.org if you have questions or need assistance.
  6. Are the awards subject to university overhead?

    No. The money associated with each prize is a gift and not a contract or grant and should be treated as such. The monetary gift will be distributed to the academic unit designated as the ES client and we encourage the awarded departments to allow the applying team to determine how the funds will be used.
  7. When will decisions be made?

    Applicants will be notified by February 28, 2019.
  8. Will data shared with Extension Services be shared with other organizations, such as funding organizations?

    Data for individual organizations is private to NCWIT and will not be shared with other organizations. Aggregate data (across organizations) may be shared publicly but individual institutional names will not be provided. However, if selected as an awardee, parts of the awardee’s application may be quoted in NCWIT publicity or new resources and NCWIT may request that the institution’s data be made public as part of our publicity and outreach efforts.