Power of Us

Increasing Female Enrollment and Retention in Career and Technical Education Programs

National Science Foundation logo with NSF overlaid on a blue world with a sunburst surrounding it
   grant number 2100014

Durham Tech was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support efforts to increase female enrollment and retention in specific career and technical education (CTE) programs that are primarily male-dominated.

Through the Power of Us program, Durham Tech seeks to recruit, support, and retain more female, including female identifying, students to a targeted set of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. This will create a more robust and equitable pipeline into in-demand CTE fields. Industries will benefit by having a larger, more diverse pool of skilled and capable technicians.

Female sign with the text Power of Us, Together we canTargeted Programs

Female-focused Learning, Support, and Retention

The program utilizes unique female-focused learning opportunities to increase prospective female students’ understanding of CTE programs. Positive experiences with the College are essential to increasing female enrollment. Once enrolled, students will be part of a supportive community.

Building a Skilled and Diverse Workforce

In response to local workforce needs identified by advisory committees and industry partners, the College will plan, schedule, and conduct engaging educational activities and career education and recruitment events to attract female students to the targeted CTE programs and keep them engaged once they are enrolled. This includes:

Tech Tuesdays

These monthly TED Talk-style events will be geared toward female CTE students and feature guest speakers presenting on a range of topics: effective résumé writing, personality tests, making the most of LinkedIn, being female in male-dominated fields, and other topics relevant to females entering the workforce.

Welcome and Get-to-Know-You Events

Held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters these events will provide the opportunity for female would-be students to learn about Durham Tech’s programs and meet with current female students and instructors. 

Taste of Industry

Held each Summer semester of the grant period, Taste of Industry will bring high school career counselors from the Durham Public Schools, Orange County Schools, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools onto the Durham Tech campus, including breakout sessions in the makerspace, to learn about Durham Tech’s array of programs while engaging in memorable hands-on activities (e.g., setting up a wireless router, changing engine oil, and more).

 Introduction to Cybersecurity Scholarship

The Power of Us will award female and non-binary students the cost of tuition and textbooks for the SEC-3100C Introduction to Cybersecurity course (section 90745), scheduled for January 8 - May 4, 2024. In addition, students that successfully complete and pass the course will receive a financial stipend.

To apply for this award, students must complete an application and submit a 500-word essay by December 12, 2023. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Awards do not require repayment unless you receive an award and then drop or withdraw from your class. Only completed applications, with a 500-word essay submitted with your application will be considered.

View the Networking and Support webpage.