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NCWIT: Extension Services

Org: National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)

Departments can partner with Extension Services through a two-year customized consultation model focused on increasing women’s participation in undergraduate programs through the development and implementation of a strategic recruitment and retention plan. Using a research-based systemic change model, ES consultants work with departmental committees to develop a strategic recruitment and retention plan in the first year of the partnership and to implement the plan during the second year. Evaluation activities occur throughout the consultation process as well as analysis of trends in the department’s enrollment, retention, and graduation data. As a result of the departmental committee’s work with a designated ES consultant and their collective utilization of ES’s research-based approaches and resources, measurable short and long term results are produced and sustainable departmental culture change is positively influenced.

An analysis of previous client cohorts engaged in the consultation model produced the following results:

  • From 2012 to 2017, women’s applications increased from 13.6% to 18.1% at participating programs.
  • The number of female graduated students more than doubled (from 557 to 1,306), while the number of male graduated students increased 83% (from 3,964 to 7,239) from 2012 to 2017.
  • The percentage of female declared majors and female graduated students increased from 12% to 15% after participation as an ES client.

Departments of computing participating in Extension Services’s consulting model receive the following benefits:

  • A dedicated Extension Services Consultant who works with the departmental committee to set goals; effectively use NCWIT resources and tools; and develop, implement, and evaluate a strategic recruitment and retention plan.
  • Guidance for analyzing trends in the department’s enrollment, retention, and graduation data provided to NCWIT through an online Tracking Tool.
  • Travel funds for two committee members to attend NCWIT’s annual Summit.
  • Assistance in administering the NCWIT Entry Survey, an evaluation tool to identify factors influencing students to declare a computing major or take an introductory course.
  • Eligibility to apply for the NCWIT ES Transformation (NEXT) Awards.

Participating departments are required to submit a report describing the committee’s activities and evaluation results during each year of the partnership as well as a final outcomes report within one month of the conclusion of the consulting period. Departmental representatives are also expected to participate in an evaluation interview with Extension Services’s external evaluator.


Intended Level(s)

Intended Population
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Persons with Disabilities, Women

Program Costs
The total cost to participate in the two-year ES consulting model is around $40,000-$50,000.

Program Matching Funds Available?

Program Interest Form