Women who attend community colleges are significantly underrepresented, especially in the engineering and technology field. Community colleges provide a pathway to higher education, allowing those with socioeconomic barriers to pursuing a degree in engineering or technology. Research shows that over 65% of students who declare an engineering major and transfer to a four-year university eventually complete an engineering bachelor’s degree, which indicates that greater support for students who begin their studies at a community college can result in increasing numbers of diverse graduates in engineering.1
To better support women in community college engineering programs, SWE is launching the Community College Affiliates Support and Expansion (CCASE) program. CCASE is a pilot program to support existing community college affiliates and establish new ones across the United States.
Through the CCASE program, SWE will offer direct support for professional development and outreach activities through financial and membership incentives. In doing so, SWE will encourage more women in community colleges, especially those underrepresented with extraordinary financial situations, to pursue a STEM degree and transfer to an undergraduate university program.
Benefits of the CCASE program include the following:
- A $350 stipend for professional development or outreach activities like workshops, speakers, meetings, or recruitment events.
- Five College-to-Career (C2C) memberships per affiliate
- Discounted FY24 Professional Membership for new faculty advisors
- Connection to a community of community college students across the US
Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh and Rose-Margaret Itua, co-chairs for the SWE Community Colleges Affinity Group, expressed their enthusiasm for the CCASE program. “We’re thrilled with the focus on expanding the number of community college members and affiliates!” they said. “Community college pathways are critical to diversifying the engineering workforce, and SWE affiliates are key to fostering the ‘village’ that helps ensure participation and success for our women in engineering.”
The CCASE program is open now and will run till the end of 2023. Existing Community College Affiliates are also eligible for project stipends and C2C memberships. Visit our CCASE program page more information about eligibility and how to apply.
1 Burke, R. J. & Mattis, M. C. (2007). Women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: Upping the numbers.