Higher Education

Information Technology: How the power of IT and the power of women will power the future

Information Technology: How the power of IT and the power of women will power the future

A report on the importance of IT to our future, and why women's participation matters.

How can I prepare for a computing major?

How can I prepare for a computing major?

Produced with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), this card gives computing-specific advice for the steps to take on the path from high school to college.

Which computing majors are right for me?

Which computing majors are right for me?

This card, co-branded with ACM, explains how computing interests and talents line up with different undergraduate degrees and the careers that follow.

Gearing Up for Change

Gearing Up for Change: Institutional Reform in Undergraduate Computing Programs

Change agents must understand and consider their organization’s complex and interlocking systems. Plans for change must ensure that subsystems work in harmony with each other to reinforce the envisioned change. This resource outlines the prerequisites to transforming for diversity in undergraduate computing and explains NCWIT’s Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs (ES-UP). Members of the Academic Alliance are entitled to free services from the NCWIT ES-UP in support of their organizational change.

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Changing the culture of an organization to one that promotes women’s participation in computing requires that members reach new understandings and act in new ways. Enlisting allies in this process requires persuasive communication. This resource provides guidance on the four distinct and necessary steps for the long-term process of effective persuasion.

Strategic Planning for Retaining Women in Undergraduate Computing

Strategic Planning for Retaining Women in Undergraduate Computing

This workbook presents some guidelines for strategically planning a multi-pronged approach to retain females — and all students — in undergraduate computing programs of study.

Strategic Planning for Recruiting Women into Undergraduate Computing: High Yield in the Short Term

Strategic Planning for Recruiting Women into Undergraduate Computing: High Yield in the Short Term

This workbook includes examples, guidance, and templates for developing a strategic recruitment plan to increase participation of females in undergraduate computing.

REU-in-a-Box

REU-In-A-Box: Expanding the Pool of Computing Researchers

REU-in-A-Box: Expanding the Pool of Computing Researchers explains the benefits of undergraduate research in computing with content developed by experienced computing faculty mentors and undergraduate researchers. This resource focuses on the interactions of a faculty mentor with one or a few students and the processes by which they conduct and share the outcomes of their research. 

Roadshow-in-a-Box: Capitalizing on Models for Outreach

Roadshow-in-a-Box: Capitalizing on Models for Outreach

Roadshow-in-a-Box is a complete set of resources developed for colleges and universities wanting to establish or enhance their roadshow outreach programs. It draws on the wisdom and practices of a variety of successful roadshow programs that focus on recruiting for diversity and put trained student presenters in a leading role. The Box includes program advice, templates, and sample materials to aid your efforts in every aspect of a sustainable roadshow program. Components include: Controlled Message, Support, Ongoing School Partnerships, Trained Student Presenters, Program Activities, and Evaluation and Tracking.

Pipeline-in-a-Box

Pipeline-in-a-Box: Promoting Advancement of CS/IT Students from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions

Are you ready to transform the lives of community college students and diversify the computer science (CS) and information technology (IT) student body at four-year institutions? Let Pipeline-in-a-Box: Promoting Advancement of CS/IT Students From Two-Year to Four-Year Institutionsease the way.

Mentoring-in-a-Box: Women Faculty in Computing

Mentoring-in-a-Box: Women Faculty in Computing

Women in scientific disciplines face challenges that range from institutionalized bias to differences in communication styles and a lack of female role models. Mentoring-in-a-Box: Women Faculty in Computing can help you start and sustain a successful mentoring relationship.

Talking Points

Institutional Barriers & Their Effects: How can I talk to colleagues about these issues?

Institutional barriers (IBs) are policies, procedures, or situations that systematically disadvantage certain groups of people. IBs exist in any majority-minority group situation. When an initial population is fairly similar (e.g., in male-dominated professions), systems naturally emerge to meet the needs of this population. If these systems do not change with the times, they can inhibit the success of new members with different needs. IBs often seem natural or “just the way things are around here.”

Talking Points

Comparing U.S. K-12 Students' Math and Science Performance Internationally: What are the facts, what do they mean for educational reform, and how do I talk effectively about the issues?

In the popular press and in public debate, one often hears that U.S. students are performing poorly in math and science in comparison to other countries. What is the basis for these claims? What are students’ actual scores and rankings? How should we interpret and use these scores? A better understanding of the evidence is important for making effective policy decisions that affect computer science and other STEM fields.

What Makes Electronic Mentoring Effective? MentorNet - www.MentorNet.net (Case Study 1)

What Makes Electronic Mentoring Effective? MentorNet - www.MentorNet.net (Case Study 1)

By removing time and location constraints, e-mentoring allows women to connect with many more women than face-to-face mentoring permits. It can also promote more open mentor-protégé communication by limiting status differences. MentorNet is an online resource for women in engineering and science who seek one-on-one guidance from mentors in their respective fields. By providing mentors with online resources for training, coaching, and consulting, MentorNet provides positive structure for the mentor- protégé relationship. Both mentors and protégés report benefiting from the program.

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Media Computation at Georgia Tech (Case Study 1)

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Media Computation at Georgia Tech (Case Study 1)

Making curricula more relevant to students, introducing collaborative learning into the classroom, and tailoring courses to different student experience levels benefit female as well as male students. This approach to introductory computing involves encouraging social interaction and creativity while presenting subject matter that is relevant to non-computing majors. Evaluation at Georgia Tech showed that the Media Computation approach resulted in increased student success rates (earning an A, B, or C) from 72 percent to about 85-90 percent.

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Harvey Mudd College's Successful Systemic Approach (Case Study 2)

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Harvey Mudd College's Successful Systemic Approach (Case Study 2)

Making curricula more relevant to students, introducing collaborative learning into the classroom, and tailoring courses to different student experience levels benefit female as well as male students. This case study focuses on the successful pre- and early-computing major redesign carried out at Harvey Mudd College. Student performance has held steady while skyrocketing women’s representation from consistently less than 20% all the way to 50% of the incoming computer science majors.

How Does Combating Overt Sexism Affect Women's Retention? Assessments for Identifying Overt Sexism (Case Study 1)

How Does Combating Overt Sexism Affect Women's Retention? Assessments for Identifying Overt Sexism (Case Study 1)

Sexism has measurably harmful effects, but sexist behavior can be minimized. Instructors and supervisors can practice zero tolerance and facilitate positive peer interactions, and they can provide highly visible leadership, policies, and procedures that go beyond legalities to explicitly denounce sexism. This case study identifies available surveys and issues that should be considered when assessing the prevalence of sexist behavior in an organization.

How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

Students most likely to complete their graduate studies are those who are viewed as junior colleagues in a positive relationship with their advisors and who are well integrated into their department’s or lab’s intellectual community. Where one woman graduate student finds support and guidance from her advisor, another is stifled by her advisor’s inconsistent and inappropriate behavior. Systems of accountability, together with trained and caring advisors, increase the chances that doctoral students will successfully navigate the path to research careers.

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Peer-Led Team Learning (Case Study 2)

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Peer-Led Team Learning (Case Study 2)

Collaborative learning can improve retention rates, critical thinking, appreciation of diversity, and development of social and professional skills. When implementing collaborative learning, match students roughly according to experience levels and make sure to give students opportunities to work together for both graded and un-graded assignments. Peer-led team learning in computer science allows students to work together with a classmate or more advanced peer directing group exercises and discussion. Courses that have utilized PLTL boast lower course drop rates and higher grades.

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