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College of Computing and Information to Lead National Girls Collaborative Project

National Initiative Encourages Girls to Pursue STEM Careers

The National Girls Collaborative Project informs and encourages girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by maintaining their interest both through in-school and out-of-school activities.

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 24, 2013) -- The College of Computing & Information (CCI) at the University at Albany has been chosen to serve as the convening organization for the New York affiliate of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). The vision of the NGCP is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“Many programs that serve girls in STEM are limited in service and impact due to size, location, funding, expertise and equipment, while others compete for the same resources and duplicate services,” said Jennifer Goodall, assistant dean of CCI's Department of Informatics. “The NGCP strives to collaborate with STEM programs to increase their organizational capacity to maintain both the interest and participation of girls. The project will also address out-of-school time about effective engagement and outreach strategies for underrepresented girls in STEM.”

The NGCP will host a variety of free or low-cost professional development opportunities for girl-serving organizations, educators, and business professionals in the area. The model is structured to bring organizations together to compare needs and resources, share information, and to plan strategically to expand STEM-related opportunities for girls. The NGCP’s collaborative model transforms the way practitioners and educators work to advance girls participation in STEM.

The initiative is a perfect complement to the College of Computing and Information Women in Technology (CCIWIT) program at the University at Albany. CCIWIT is dedicated to supporting, empowering, and building community among female faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. The program encourages girls in middle school and high school to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in the fields related to computer science, informatics, and information science.

As a result, CCIWIT initiatives are designed to address the critical need to bridge the achievement gap and increase access for women to enter the male-dominated computing and information technology fields. In addition to diverse campus outreach programs, CCIWIT hosts a speaker series for Technology Leaders of Today and provides opportunities for students to attend national technology conferences.

With CCI’s appointment, New York is now one of 31 collaborative projects, serving 40 states that have been established as a part of the NGCP, facilitating collaboration between more than 12,800 organizations and indirectly serving more than 7.7 million girls and 4.4 million boys.

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