Grant will encourage more female GGC students to study IT

Georgia Gwinnett College has won a student seed grant from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), funded by Symantec and organized by the Academic Alliance. The grant will be used to develop a “Women in IT” learning community at the college.
“Learning communities are programs designed to create an enhanced educational experience for students pursuing the same field of study,” said Dr. Kristine Nagel, associate vice president for Educational Technology Development and Evaluation “These programs provide special activities that involve and encourage students, expose them to positive role models, and help them succeed.”
In this case, the GGC Women in IT learning community will focus primarily on women who are majoring, minoring or interested in the field of information technology. Its main goal is to inform women about IT, promote the discipline and provide a support system to female IT students as they meet other like-minded women in the field at GGC and beyond. The program will encourage these students to help each other through the challenges of a field where men dominate their class, major and employment environments.
The program’s activities include a fall semester kick-off celebration and recruiting activity, midterm study/peer-tutoring sessions in both fall and spring semesters, and a winter activity also functioning as the spring semester’s kick-off.
“The kick-off events will feature guest speakers who will engage, motivate and inspire the students to continue their journey in IT,” said Nagel. “We will also recognize student accomplishments, present awards and have activities that build fellowship within the community.”
From 2008-2012, only 13-16 percent of GGC’s IT majors were women. 
“This data indicates a need to implement a solution encouraging women to pursue careers in the IT field, where there are growing employment opportunities and where women are underrepresented,” said Nagel. “We are grateful to NCWIT, Symantec and Academic Alliance for their support of this program, which will be used to address the increasing problem of underrepresentation of women in IT careers.” 
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