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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

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Are Online Technology/Cyber Courses Effective for Encouraging Women to Enter Into the STEM and Cybersecurity Fields

Jane A LeClair (National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 12:45pm
Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere A2
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 2

Despite continuing efforts, women are not rushing into STEM. This presentation will seek answers to the effectiveness of online courses in attracting them.

Extended Abstract

Research continues to illustrate that women are underrepresented in the STEM field and in cybersecurity in particular. While efforts are being made to encourage females to enter these disciplines, there appears to be no great rush of women to enroll. Equally discouraging is the percentage that do pursue a career in technology, but drop out in a relatively short period of time. One of the possibilities why women are not attracted to STEM and cybersecurity is the effectiveness of the online courses in appealing to women. This roundtable discussion will examine the issues that impact them in online courses and influence their continuance in the course work. The presentation will include opening remarks, a brief graphical display showing current research as well as areas identified as being problematic, and open discussion that seek to share audience views on the effectiveness of online courses in drawing and maintaining women into the cybersecurity and STEM disciplines. Handouts will be available.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Jane A. LeClair is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to serve as an academic and research center dedicated to increasing the knowledge of the cybersecurity discipline. Dr. LeClair served as Dean of the School of Business and Technology prior to assuming her current position.
Before joining Excelsior College, Dr. LeClair had careers in education and the energy industry. Dr. LeClair has also been actively involved in a variety of professional organizations. She is an advocate for attracting and retaining more women in the technology fields.
Her most recent publication (Dec. 2013) is "Protecting Our Future: Educating A Cybersecurity Workforce" with a forward by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.