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Waubonsee CAD Grants to Boost Dual Credit Program, Recruit Women Students

The Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) program at Waubonsee Community College has been awarded two grants to help the college improve its partnership with a local high school and to improve efforts to market the program to women.

On Oct. 11, the Illinois Community College Board awarded the Waubonsee Business and Career Technologies Division a $10,000 grant to support the college’s efforts to enhance the development of dual credit CAD courses through a partnership with West Aurora High School.

Ne’Keisha Stepney, Assistant Dean for Business and Career Technologies, said the grant would be used to support work to align the curriculum at Waubonsee and West Aurora and to offer professional development and networking opportunities to CAD instructors at West Aurora.

The college began partnering with the high school on the dual credit offerings this fall.

Stepney said the college also would continue to develop the dual credit CAD program with an eye toward introducing both additional partnership opportunities and academic offerings.

The Business and Career Technologies Division also was awarded a $2,000 grant through the 2014 New Look Project at the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support.

Stepney said that grant award would be used to step up marketing efforts aimed at recruiting women into CAD programs and drafting fields.

Currently, just two women are enrolled in Waubonsee CAD courses.

Among other uses, the college will put the grant to work by empaneling focus groups to learn more about what could make CAD more attractive to female students. The grant could also be used to set up opportunities for women to hear from other women working in fields that use CAD, so women can see how CAD training might boost their careers.

Stepney said the college will roll out those marketing efforts in spring 2014.