In 2020, 20 percent1 of all Computer and Information Sciences domestic bachelor’s degree recipients were women. While this figure has grown since 2015, we can do better. Institutions of higher learning know that diversity and inclusion are instrumental in helping all students realize their full potential. NCWIT Extension Services can assist computing departments in making lasting transformations that bring new voices to the table and change what’s possible.
Sustainable change happens when educational systems are revised to fit people, rather than changing people to fit systems, which are often biased. Organizational change is by necessity customized, with resources keyed to specific departments and institutions, helping computing faculty strategically reimagine retaining the students they work so hard to recruit. Increasing declared majors and graduation rates is just part of the story. NCWIT programs and resources can help faculty change leaders make lasting, systemic change by securing strategic buy-in and participation from colleagues, department chairs, academic deans, student affairs administrators, and students themselves. Diversity and inclusion become central to departmental culture, not merely peripheral activities.
Individuals and departments can engage with ES in a variety of ways:
- Explore resources. Find tools for changing undergraduate women’s representation with research-based strategies by exploring the resources linked to the elements of the Undergraduate Systemic Change Model and the Graduate Systemic Change Model.
- Track and submit institutional data. Use the NCWIT Tracking Tool. This online evaluation tool helps academic departments evaluate undergraduate student recruitment and retention efforts, collecting and charting enrollment and outcome data by major.
- Participate in Extension Services. NCWIT has supported nearly 140 academic departments with One-on-One Consulting and in the cohort-based Learning Circles to learn how to initiate and evaluate systemic change. To be considered as a participant in a future NCWIT Extension Services program, contact Extension Services at [email protected] for undergraduate programs or [email protected] for graduate programs.
- Engage administrators. Meet with Extension Services team members and other department and program chairs to engage in conversations regarding the chairs important role in systemic change.
- Gain recognition. Previous Extension Services departmental participants have been recognized for their significant positive outcomes in their efforts to recruit and retain more women, and have excellent potential for sustaining progress. Learn more about our 2020 NEXT Award recipients and our 2015-2019 recipients.
1 Source: National Center for Educational Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, Classification of Instructional Program 11.07 and 11.01.