Efforts to bolster the ranks of women studying information technology at Cal Poly Pomona received a tremendous boost after Avanade, a leading global provider of innovative digital services and business solutions, pledged nearly $400,000 over the next five years for five scholarships.
The $15,000 Avanade Women in Information Technology Scholarships will be awarded in the fall quarter to students majoring in computer information systems or computer science. The scholarships are renewable for up to five years, and funds can go toward tuition, fees, books, parking, and room and board.
Cal Poly Pomona is the only university in the United States selected by Avanade to participate in the scholarship program. The $15,000 scholarships are the largest corporate-supported awards the university has ever received.
“We are deeply honored that Avanade chose Cal Poly Pomona to receive these prestigious scholarships. This gives our students even more opportunities to achieve their dreams,” says University President Soraya M. Coley. “Avanade’s generosity and foresight will have a profound impact at this university.”
The impetus for the scholarships is Avanade’s “15 for 15” program, which marks the company’s 15-year anniversary. The program also reinforces the company’s efforts to help attract more women into high-tech and computer-related fields.
Avanade scholarship recipients will receive support that includes participation in a mentoring program with Cal Poly Pomona faculty and Avanade professionals, and networking opportunities through Avanade. In addition, they will participate in an outreach program for middle- and high-school girls to promote IT careers, and receive internship opportunities in partnership with the global business technology provider.
Avanade also made a $500,000 gift last year to establish the Mitchell C. Hill Center for Applied Business Technology. Hill was the founding CEO of Avanade who graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in computer information systems.
The Mitchell C. Hill Center for Applied Business Technology oversees projects that include a student-managed cloud computing data center, faculty research and student scholarships, as well as outreach efforts to women and other underrepresented groups. The College of Business Administration plans to raise $2.5 million overall to support the endowment funded by Avanade.
The Avanade scholarship will be administered through the Mitchell C. Hill Center for Applied Business Technology. The merit and need-based scholarship program is open to incoming freshmen or transfer students, current sophomores or juniors in good standing. Applicants also should be declared as a computer information systems or computer science major, show financial need, carry a minimum of 12 units each quarter and have a minimum 2.5 GPA each quarter.
Students can apply for the scholarship through the Office of Financial Aid.