Outcomes of the CAITE project sponsored by grants from the National Science Foundation, 2007-2013:
The Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) worked to increase the participation and success of underrepresented groups in information technology (IT) through a regional strategy that includes four campuses of the University of Massachusetts (UMass Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell), two state universities (Bridgewater and Worcester), and nine community colleges (Bristol, Bunker Hill, Cape Cod, Greenfield, Holyoke, Middlesex, Northern Essex, Roxbury, and Springfield Technical). CAITE is the only NSF BPC alliance to directly address community colleges, where many first-in-the-family college-goers and older and working students with families begin their college careers (44% of all undergraduates nationally are in community college). Importantly, CAITE community college partners are located in regions where residents are highly underrepresented in the state’s IT economy, where there are significant minority populations, and where educational attainment and prosperity are low. Through events and a media strategy, CAITE reached out to communities, regions, middle and high schools, public community and 4-year colleges and universities, and community groups to promote participation in computing careers and education. CAITE focused on institutional change, primarily along the high school/community college/4-year college pathways, and addresses issues related to curricular and institutional alignment, articulation, and mentoring in gateway courses.
To increase the participation of those traditionally underrepresented in the Massachusetts information economy, the CAITE alliance focused primarily on the community college to 4-year college pipeline, but the CAITE mission is multi-dimensional. We reach out also to middle school and high school students, parents, teachers, and counselors in communities where potential students might not be considering 4-year colleges because they are not yet educationally prepared, cannot afford a 4-year college, are not thinking of 4-year colleges for social and family reasons, or are seeking retraining or career changes. CAITE encourages CC students to consider transfer and develops the pathways that will ease their transition into and ensure their retention in 4-year programs. Our pathways effort focuses on both student-centered and institution-centered reform. Student-centered initiatives aim to provide students with access to a wealth of education resources. Institution-centered initiatives include development of articulation agreements and roadmaps – maps of course equivalencies between institutions that identify potential common courses and curricula. CAITE supports novel and existing pathways towards degree completion: both traditional articulated programs and “transfer roadmaps” to facilitate student enrollment in IT degree programs; mentoring including supplemental peer-mentoring and facilitated study groups; professional development across the alliance with special focus on community college and high school faculty, advisors, and guidance counselors; and formal and informal middle and high school programs.
Outcomes related to Intellectual Merit:
Outcomes related to Broader Impacts:
Sponsored by CAITE an NSF CISE Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance
© copyright 2008 University of Massachusetts, Amherst
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.s NSF-0634412 and NSF-0837739. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.