A Smart Choice for Women

Published: Sep 24, 2004

A Smart Choice for Women

At UMBC, it is cool to be smart. And it is especially cool for girls to be smart.

UMBC’s array of programs that empower women to be both successful students and successful professionals has now been recognized nationally by CosmoGIRL! magazine’s new guide to the 50 best colleges for girls. Featured in the magazine’s October 2004 issue, the guide also includes such institutions as Amherst College; Brown University; Duke University; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

In compiling the list for its readership of young women ages 12 through 17, editors at CosmoGIRL! consulted admissions officers and guidance counselors across the country to determine the kind of environment that gives girls the best chance of success in school and after graduation. The result was a list of six key factors–small class size, prominent female faculty members, strong women’s sports programs, a career center that facilitates internship opportunities, opportunities to hold leadership positions in clubs and activities and an active alumni network.

“Not only is this first college guide designed specifically for girls, but what really makes it unique is that we’ve identified specific factors that give girls an edge,” said CosmoGIRL!’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Schulz. “This is no arbitrary list.”

In addition to performing well on CosmoGIRL!’s key criteria, UMBC impressed the magazine’s editors with innovative programs that empower women and help them achieve their potential. For example, UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) is dedicated to achieving women’s full participation in all aspects of information technology (IT), while the Imaging Research Center (IRC), specializing in high-end computer animation and visualization, offers both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work on professional projects with clients such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, PBS and the Discovery Channel. UMBC is one of only 16 schools in the country chosen by the National Science Foundation to sponsor an ADVANCE program designed to support the recruitment and advancement of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Other UMBC programs that help women prepare for success after graduation include Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL), which engages the campus in a learning community that promotes academic excellence, leadership development, career exploration and civic engagement on women’s issues, and the UMBC Alumni Association’s popular “Backpack to Briefcase” program, which offers students the opportunity to network with the University’s successful alumni.



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