For Immediate Release
August 14, 2014

Alameda, CA – Today, the Alameda-based Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science (IWITTS) has announced that they will receive an $899,841 grant from the National Science Foundation to increase enrollment and retention of women in community college science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.
Donna Milgram, the Founder and Executive Director of IWITTS, said, “The U.S. is at risk of losing its competitive edge because too few students are choosing STEM career pathways, 59% of STEM students in post-secondary education don’t complete their education, and opportunities to innovate are reduced by a lack of diversity. This project will target STEM programs such as computer science, engineering technology, and manufacturing technology where female students remain underrepresented.” She added, “The project addresses the urgent need for community college programs nationwide to expand access to STEM education and career opportunities for women and girls.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, from California’s 13th Congressional District, said, “I am pleased that the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science has been selected to receive this important and competitive funding. It is our obligation to ensure that young women are both encouraged and supported as they pursue studies and careers in STEM-related fields so they are prepared to contribute and thrive in the economy of the future.”
This federal award will allow IWITTS to provide the national community college Advanced Technological Education (ATE) network with evidence-based teaching, learning, and recruitment practices via the WomenTech Educators Online Training. This professional development helps educators to increase enrollment and retention of women (and retention of men) in community college STEM courses throughout the country. IWITTS will be developing a new, electronic institutional assessment tool to help colleges assess if they are using best practices for recruiting and retaining female students in STEM. The project will also expand the free, online Proven Practices Collection, which brings educators a research-based road map of journal articles, webinars, and case studies for engaging women and girls in the technology classroom.
Since 1994, IWITTS has helped educators nationwide close the gender gap for women and girls in technology. IWITTS is the only national organization whose sole mission is to provide educators and employers with the tools they need to encourage women to enter and succeed in careers where they are under-represented. IWITTS’s solutions include research, professional development, publications, technical assistance, and outreach and marketing products.
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If you’d like more information, or to schedule an interview with Donna Milgram, please call (510) 749-0200 ext 101 or email donna_milgram@iwitts.org. To learn more, visit www.iwitts.org

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