RE: [EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening Statement--Janalee Jordan-Meldrum

From: Jordan-Meldrum, Janalee (
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 09:16:27 EDT

Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.
Instead of replying to each post individually, I thought I would address
some questions and themes that have come up in today's discussion.

1) One theme that emerged today is the theme of career education. I heard
two variations on that theme: one, how can we better support girls who may
not be high achievers; and two, are we providing support for career
education programs, which may remain sex segregated along very traditional

As to supporting girls who may not be high achievers, but want to explore
non-traditional careers , I too think this is an important issue. In some
ways, I think non-traditional career exploration programs hold great
for students who may not be "high achievers" in the "traditional" sense.

As to the issue of providing support for non-traditional career education
programs (that may reach some of the students identified above), I think
this is also a very important issue. The AAUW Educational Foundation
supports a few of these programs each year through our Community Action
Grants program. Though the topical focus of the Community Action Grants
program is not restricted (as long as the project advances education and
equity for women and girls), we do receive and fund requests for
non-traditional career programs.

I would be interested in hearing from some others on the list who are
working in this area. What types of funding are available for these
programs? What more needs to be done?

2) I also heard the theme of systemic change. Traditionally, the AAUW
Educational foundation has primarily funded individual women. We have
worked more recently, however, to support systemic change in communities
and schools through programs like our Community Action Grants program (on
perhaps a smaller scale than some others; our grants provide from
$2,000-$7,000 for a one year project and $5,000 - $10,000 for a two year
project). I would be interested in learning about other systemic change
efforts that are underway. I know that the NSF and WEEA programs provide
this type of funding. Are there systemic change issues that are severely
underfunded now?

3) What about the intersection of race/ethnicity/class/gender in students
lives? Yes, we should, we must, pay attention to the intersection of
students' and adults various identities when we talk about programs and
funding for women and girls. I suppose this begs the question, are we
that sufficiently now? Surely not. How can we do it better?

4) I think Rochelle Riling makes some very good points about areas of
I am anxious to hear what others have to say here. We could do much more
with funding for staff time, sustainability, ways to position gender equity
programs, etc.

5) Finally, one respondent asks, how many scholarships are restricted
to male and female applicants? Are males being treated unfairly in this

This question is difficult to answer accurately. Statistics vary
considerably. The AAUW Educational Foundation funds women students,
individually, at the graduate and first professional levels.

At those levels, the NCES report "Student Financing of Graduate and
First-Professional Education, 1995-1996"
( finds that males generally receive
more financial aid in the form of grants, which include scholarships,
fellowships, tuition waivers and employer aid than females. (Table 2.3a:
Percentage of graduate and first-professional students who received
financial aid, by type of aid, type of degree, and selected student
characteristics 1995-96)

Master's students: male=31.1, female=29.2
Doctoral students: male=39.0, female=33.9
First-professional students: male=37.1, female=39.0

(see pp. 54-56 of the report).

One development that has occurred recently, perhaps as a result of interest
in girls' and women's education, is that many individual researchers and
organizations have become increasingly interested in examining boys'
educational opportunities. We see this as a positive development. As do,
am sure, most individuals and organizations who care about education

Thanks all. I have learned a great deal already... I look forward to
continuing our discussion throughout the week.



Janalee Jordan-Meldrum
Senior Program Officer, K-12 and Community Programs
AAUW Educational Foundation

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