Why IGT Scholarships for Women?

While women have made strides in many STEM career fields, women are still largely underrepresented in computer science. Reasons for this often include a lack of computer science education in the early years, teaching approaches, and lack of a sense of belonging in the computing classroom and the workplace. While there is a greater understanding of the issue, the number of female undergraduates studying computer science at URI has remained quite low since 2011.  In fact, women accounted for only about 15% of all Computer Science majors and only 14% of CS graduates over the last 10 years, even as overall enrollments in the major have more than tripled. Our research has shown that women are more likely to persist as CS majors until graduation if they belong to a cohort of supportive peers, and participate in departmental activities designed to provide a sense of belonging.

The IGT Scholarship aims to increase the number of women graduating from URI with a Computer Science degree by creating a positive environment where women feel a sense of support and belonging. The cohort of IGT Scholars will not only provide support to each other, but will also provide modeling for other students who will see the strong cohort of women in the program.