Extension Services (ES)

In 2017–2018, only 18 percent (or 9,131) of all Computer and Information Sciences undergraduate degree recipients were women. We can do better. Institutions of higher learning know that diversity and inclusion are instrumental in helping all students realize their full potential. NCWIT Extension Services (ES) can assist computing departments in making lasting transformations that bring new voices to the table and change what’s possible.

Sustainable change happens when educational systems are revised to fit people, rather than changing people to fit systems that are often biased. Organizational change is by necessity customized, with resources keyed to specific departments and institutions, helping computing faculty strategically reimagine recruitment, retention, and evaluation. Increasing declared majors and graduation rates is just part of the story. We help faculty change leaders make lasting, systemic change by securing strategic buy-in and participation from colleagues, department chairs, academic deans, student affairs administrators, and students themselves. Diversity and inclusion become central to departmental culture, not merely peripheral activities.

Who we are

Using research-based tools, processes, and best practices, the ES approach develops a strategic foundation for increasing women’s participation in undergraduate and graduate computing programs. Our resources help academic change agents build consensus and action from the inside out, creating momentum for measurable, sustainable change.

Getting involved

Individuals and departments can engage with ES in a variety of ways:

  • Explore resources. Find tools for changing undergraduate women’s representation with research-based strategies by exploring these interactive NCWIT diagrams of the Undergraduate Systemic Change Model and the Graduate Systemic Change Model (coming soon). These models help faculty members connect to applicable NCWIT resources and design their own plans.
  • Track and submit institutional data. Use the NCWIT Tracking Tool. This online evaluation tool helps academic departments evaluate undergraduate student recruitment and retention efforts, collecting and charting enrollment and outcome data by major.
  • Become a client. Explore One-on-One Consulting and Learning Circles to work with us at the undergraduate level, and ES-Grad to work with us at the graduate level. To be considered as a future client, contact Extension Services at es@ncwit.org for undergraduate programs or es-grad@ncwit.org for graduate programs.
  • Engage administrators. Learn how department chairs can facilitate systemic change in their computing departments.
  • Gain recognition. Current and past clients are eligible to apply for the NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Awards. These awards recognize client departments that have shown significant positive outcomes in their efforts to recruit and retain more women, and have excellent potential for sustaining progress.

Real people, real results

Contact us at es@ncwit.org.

ES is generously supported by the National Science Foundation (Awards HRD- 1626631) and Google.


Get To Know Us 
Lecia Barker
Senior Research Scientist
Sherri L. Sanders
Extension Services Director
Jamie Huber Ward
Extension Services Associate Director
Leisa Thompson
Extension Services Research and Consulting Director
Gretchen Achenbach
Research Scientist
Zhen Wu
Research Associate
Christopher L. Hovey
ES-Grad Research Scientist
Hannah Weber
Assistant to the Extension Services Director
Related Alliance(s) 
Academic Alliance