Ohio Wesleyan University is part of a new National Science Foundation-funded consortium of 15 Ohio colleges and universities created to support students seeking to study computer science, especially women and minorities historically underrepresented in the field.

The $2-million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant is being used to create the five-year “Ohio Pathways to Undergraduate Computing Success” project, which includes six public community colleges and nine of Ohio’s independent colleges and universities, including Ohio Wesleyan.

“Ohio Wesleyan is excited to help educate more computer scientists,” said Karlyn Crowley, Ph.D., provost. “Ohio employers are seeking out this expertise, and we are committed to helping them fill this vital need. Over the past few years, OWU computer science graduates have begun careers immediately after graduation at local and national companies, including Facebook, Instagram, and Nike. We look forward to the possibilities ahead.”

This new consortium, led by Baldwin Wallace University, will collaborate to recruit and graduate more computer science students through work that includes establishing a shared set of requirements and coursework that makes it easy for students to move from earning two-year associate’s degrees to four-year bachelor’s degrees without losing transfer credits or adding classroom time.

Each school also is recruiting industrial partners to take part in an advisory board that will give input on the skills and abilities needed most and provide access to job shadowing and internship experiences. Ohio Wesleyan’s first industrial partner is necoTECH, which develops eco-friendly building materials to create environmentally sustainable infrastructure. necoTECH is headquartered in the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at OWU.

Ohio Wesleyan and the other consortium members also will work to develop and offer support for women and minority students pursuing degrees in computing fields and to provide faculty development, advisor workshops, and training and recruitment materials for admission counselors.

In addition to Ohio Wesleyan and Baldwin Wallace, the four-year Ohio institutions taking part in the initial consortium are Ashland University, Capital University, Defiance College, Hiram University, Lourdes University, Tiffin University, and Ursuline College.

The two-year institutions involved are Columbus State Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain County Community College, Sinclair Community College, and Terra State Community College.

Learn more about transferring to Ohio Wesleyan at www.owu.edu/transfer and more about studying computer science at OWU at www.owu.edu/computerscience.

Submitted by Ohio Wesleyan University.