On June 1, 2011, IWITTS received a five-year, $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project co-funded by the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) and the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) programs. The main focus of this new Project is to expand the important work of the original CalWomenTech Project by disseminating CalWomenTech results, proven strategies, and resources to ATE grantees and a wider community college audience through an expanded Proven Practices Collection and professional development opportunities such as webinars, online trainings, and in-person workshops at ATE centers. The original CalWomenTech Project was highlighted by NSF in 2009 for demonstrating significant achievement and program effectiveness. In April 2012, NSF featured the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project in a story on their "Discoveries" website.
Read on to learn more about the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project.
The end goal of the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project was to provide ATE grantees and the community college network nationwide with the tools needed to recruit and retain women and girls in technology programs in which they are underrepresented in order to expand STEM education and career opportunities for women and girls.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project achieved this goal by:
- Delivering high-quality professional development in multiple formats -- webinars, online trainings, and in-person workshops -- to community college educators across the country.
- Serving as a clearinghouse for proven practices and "bridge" tools for recruiting and retaining women to community college technology programs nationwide. This includes expanding IWITTS' existing Proven Practices Collection.
- Presenting on the results, proven strategies, and resources of the CalWomenTech Project at national and state conferences.
- Working with the Evalu‐ATE Center at Western Michigan University to measure female participation in ATE community college technology programs over the course of the Project.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project delivered a series of webinars with guest speakers on specialized topics in recruiting and retaining women to STEM programs to supplement the CalWomenTech Scale Up in-person and online workshops over five years. The Project also held the inaugural STEM Success for Women Telesummit in 2015.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project webinar -- "Gender Methods in Evaluation" -- was hosted by the Evalu-ATE Center from Western Michigan University and the recording is still available on their website.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project offerred online trainings to community college educators containing the top proven practices and strategies from the CalWomenTech Project and IWITTS' over 17 years of success in assisting educational institutions in recruiting and retaining female students in programs around the country. The Project's online trainings were conducted by Donna Milgram, IWITTS Executive Director and PI of the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project. The format was a combination of asynchronous and live training designed to fit an educator's busy schedule. Participants developed easy-to-implement recruitment and retention plans as part of the online training. After the online training concluded, the Project provides long-term Coaching Support for Implementation.
Over a hundred educators filled out an online application for the 25 spots available in the initial CalWomenTech Scale Up online training.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project will conduct five in-person workshops on recruiting and retaining women to community college STEM programs in which they are underrepresented at ATE centers around the country. These two-day workshops are based on IWITTS' WomenTech Educators Onsite Trainings, and are conducted by Donna Milgram, IWITTS Executive Director and PI of the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project. The workshops not only ensure that community college educators discover existing proven practices that can increase the number of women in their STEM programs, they also help participants develop strategic recruitment and retention plans. All the in-person workshops are hosted by the Project's ATE partners. After the in-person workshop concludes, the Project provides all participants with long-term support for implementation, including six monthly live Support & Strategy calls.
This free collection of downloadable research-based articles, papers, podcasts, webinars, and case studies was developed to disseminate proven strategies for recruiting and retaining women to STEM to educators nationwide as part of the original CalWomenTech Project. The resources were annotated, searchable, and divided into ten program areas such as Bridge Courses, Learning Style, and Spatial Reasoning to make them easy to access. As part of the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project, IWITTS expanded the research and resources available to educators in this free collection and partned with ATE Central to make them available to more ATE grantees and community college educators. All of the 100+ Proven Practices Collection listings are now available on ATE Central as part of a Proven Practices Series.
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project is grateful to its national advisory committee for the guidance and support that they brought to this Project. Their assistance with the recruitment of participants and dissemination of Project workshops, webinars, and the expanded Proven Practices Collection was invaluable.
Members of the CalWomenTech Scale Up National Advisory Committee:
- Lynn Barnett, Vice President (retired) for Academic, Student and Community Development, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Washington, DC
- Dr. Ann Beheler, Director, PI, Convergence Technology Center (CTC), TX
- Deborah Boisvert, Director, BATEC Center for IT, University of Massachusetts, MA
- Rachael Bower, Director, Internet Scout Project, University of Wisconsin, WI
- Robert Cormia, PI, Nanotechnology Program Curriculum Articulation, Foothill-De Anza Community College, CA
- Imelda Cossette, PI, National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education, Edmonds Community College, and PI, Proven Practices for Recruiting Women to STEM Careers in ATE Programs
- Elaine Craft, Director, SC ATE Center of Excellence, Academic Affairs Division of Florence-Darlington Technical College, SC
- Phillip Davis, National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence, Del Mar College, TX
- Robert Ehrmann, Director, National ATE Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK), Pennsylvania State University, PA
- Dr. Arlen Gullickson, PI, ATE Evaluation Resource Center, Western Michigan University, MI
- Dr. Elaine Johnson, Director, Bio-Link National ATE Center, Instructor, City College of San Francisco, CA
- Dr. Edward Leach, Vice-President, Services and Programs, League for Innovation in the Community College, Phoenix, AZ
- Gordon Snyder, Director, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Center, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), Co-PI, CalWomenTech Scale Up Project
- Dr. Sheryl Sorby, Director, Engineering Education Innovation Research Group, Michigan Technological University, MI
- Dr. Pierre Thiry, PI, Mid-Pacific ICT Regional Center, Instructor, City College of San Francisco, CA
- Steve Wendel, PI, Director, National Center for Manufacturing Education & Project Lead the Way—Ohio Affiliate, Sinclair Community College, OH
- Kimberly Yohannan, Academic Alliance Manager, EMC Corporation, Hopkinton, MA
The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project is funded by The Advanced Technological Education Program and The Program for Research on Gender in Science and Engineering from The National Science Foundation - Grant no. 1102996. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.