April 15, 2013 15:30 ET

Academic Workshop Prepares Underrepresented Faculty for Technical Careers

COLLEGE STATION, TX--(Marketwired - April 15, 2013) - The Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) which develops national-scale projects to ensure that underrepresented groups are fully engaged in computing and information technologies, announced today that it held an Academic Career Workshop (ACW) at Northwestern University on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - Saturday, April 13, 2013. This was the eighth workshop to date. The goal of the workshop was to provide unique, tailored experiences about the academic career ladder for underrepresented ethnic minorities and people with disabilities at the levels of assistant and associate faculty, post-docs, and senior doctoral students. 31 participants were selected to attend this year's workshop.

Since 2005, the Academic Career Workshop has serviced 201 underrepresented (African American, Native American, Latino and People with Disabilities) junior faculty and graduate students. The ACW workshops have demonstrated impressive results in helping underrepresented professionals achieve success in their careers by focusing on the promotion and tenure process. Since attending the workshop, all of the first 2005 cohort of ACW participants who were at the assistant professor level during the workshop have received tenure promotions and three participants have received the prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award.

The success of the ACW workshop is largely due to its unique focus on the proposal writing process, including a mock proposal review panel, which helps to increase participants' self-efficacy in proposal writing. As a result of focusing on the proposal process, Academic Career Workshop participants also have garnered an incredible 53% proposal acceptance rate and a 47% National Science Foundation proposal acceptance rate over the past eight years. The typical NSF proposal acceptance rate is 25%.

Other sessions at the workshop supporting faculty development included launching a research program, teaching, entrepreneurship and a funding panel featuring representatives from the Department of Energy (DoE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The Academic Career Workshop is funded by the National Science Foundation and organized by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT), the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), a joint organization of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the Computing Research Association (CRA), and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS), the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI); and the Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing).

About the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology (CMD-IT)
The vision of CMD-IT is to contribute to the national need for an effective workforce in computing and IT through inclusive programs and initiatives focused on minorities and people with disabilities. CMDIT's vision is accomplished through its mission to insure that underrepresented groups are fully engaged in computing and IT and promotes innovation that enriches, enhances and enables underrepresented communities. For more information please visit

Contact Information