Conestoga news

May 5, 2016 9:36 AM

Technology training program for women celebrates success

Graduates, faculty, community partners and placement hosts of the Information Technology Training for Women (ITTW) Business Analysis program gathered to celebrate the success of its students and the program at Conestoga's Doon campus on April 27.

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Information Technology Training for Women program manager Sheila McGlashan (right) congratulates one of the program's graduates on April 27.

Funded through the Province of Ontario, the ITTW program is designed to support low-income women who are unemployed or underemployed as they prepare for successful careers in information technology. The program includes in-class instruction as well as a work placement component that focuses on developing skills in business analysis.

Two intakes have been successfully completed since the graduate program’s inception in 2014.

“We wanted to create an IT-oriented program where there are jobs in the community,” program manager Sheila McGlashan said. 

Prospective students require a diploma or degree and must undergo two rounds of interviews during the application process, program coordinator Carol Schlievert explained. Students have come to the program from diverse backgrounds such as nursing, engineering and business.

Community partners played a role in taking on students for their placements, but also in sharing real-world stories of their own careers in the ITTW classroom, McGlashan said.

Students received Ontario College Graduate Certificates and IT “toolkits” that can be used in the world of business analysis.

All seven of the students who completed the insurance elective portion of the program went on to beat the national average in their exams.

One student took to the floor to describe her experience.

“It’s been a tremendous year. I can’t say enough about what I’ve learned, not just in technical skills, but also life skills,” she said.

She attributed her increase in confidence to the program and thanked staff and instructors for their support.

“As a single mom, I would not have been able to afford tuition. This program is very much needed,” she said. “It transformed my life and a lot of people’s lives, including my child.”

The ITTW program was recently awarded renewal for a third intake, which will begin in September 2016. A number of information sessions will run from May to August for individuals interested in participating. For more information about the sessions, visit Conestoga's Event Calendar, email or call 519-748-5220 ext. 8060.

More information is also available on the program web page