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What is CareerWISE?

1. What is CareerWISE?
CareerWISE is the anytime online coach designed specifically for women in science, technology, engineering, and math graduate programs. CareerWISE is resilience training—a free source of personal and professional support for surviving and thriving in STEM.

2. Why is it important that a resource like CareerWISE exists?
Women are making it through to PhD programs, but not all are making it out. Efforts to improve the climate for women in doctoral programs are critical. But rather than waiting for chilly climates to warm up we also need to heighten personal resilience for managing the moment. The CareerWISE resource provides the coaching and support to help women succeed in their current environments.

3. What topics are covered in the CareerWISE resource?
The site provides advice from accomplished women in science and engineering, information about common concerns women face in STEM fields, training to solve personal and interpersonal problems, modules to strengthen skills for communicating in difficult situations, and tips for addressing specific questions or concerns.

4. Why should users trust the CareerWISE resource?
The CareerWISE resource was created by an interdisciplinary team of experts from fields including counseling psychology, engineering, computer science, the physical sciences, curriculum and instruction, educational technology, and theater with the generous support of the National Science Foundation. The content is current, significant, and relevant; scholarly references are also provided for all content pieces. The effectiveness of the resource was demonstrated with two nationwide randomized controlled trials. Details of these studies can be found under Publications and Presentations.

5. What's new for the CareerWISE resource?
The CareerWISE resource now includes a new interpersonal communication curriculum. The expanded content provides in-depth training on communicating in the types of challenging situations that women in STEM fields encounter. Interactive simulations are a unique feature that allows users to make response selections in critical-incident scenarios. The new communication curriculum and simulations can be accessed directly from the home page by clicking on "Communication Simulations".

Who can benefit from CareerWISE?

1. Why is CareerWISE designed specifically for women?
Women are outnumbered in STEM doctoral programs and therefore frequently face additional challenges beyond the usual stresses of graduate school. The CareerWISE resource is designed to help women understand themselves and the various contexts in which they work and apply problem-solving that fits the situation.

2. Is this resource only useful for women?
The material on the CareerWISE site should be particularly useful to women in science and engineering environments. Examples are drawn specifically from science and engineering environments where there are few women, but skills and content are applicable to both women and men at various educational and career levels in diverse circumstances.

3. Why does CareerWISE focus on doctoral students rather than focusing on problems earlier in the STEM pipeline?
Women in doctoral programs have already decided on STEM as a primary area of interest and have been competitive in gaining admission to these programs, but still complete the programs at a lower rate than men. CareerWISE is customized for and supports talented women who are tempted to leave programs and STEM careers because of discouraging experiences.

Technical Questions

1. How much time does it take to use the CareerWISE resource?
The CareerWISE resource can be used for as little or as much time as you would like. It is designed so that you can browse the large variety of content or quickly find content related to a specific topic. We hope you will bookmark the resource and come back to it again and again!

2. How do I access the new Communication Simulations?
You can access the new CareerWISE communication simulations via the home page, by clicking on the "Commutation Simulations" drawer, or by following the links on the main navigation menu: Learn Skills → Communication Skills → Practice. Or, you can follow the Practice links on each of the pages associated with the following skill-building modules: Active Listening, Expressing Yourself, Receiving and Responding to Feedback.

How can I get more Information?

1. What if my question isn't answered here?
Please feel free to contact us about questions or comments here or by submitting our contact form. As questions come in, we will continue to keep this FAQ document updated.