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water quality management

Women in Water Quality Management

Female enrollment in the WQM program matches the national average

Women in Water Quality Management match the national ATE average

A nationwide evaluation of female enrollment in National Science Foundation funded Advanced Technology Education (ATE) programming shows that women represent approximately 22% of college enrollment in agricultural and natural resource disciplines. WQM programming is categorized under this discipline. Since receiving the NSF grant, women’s enrollment in the WQM program has remained steady at 21% of the overall student population. View the evaluation snapshot for full details.

Women in the WQM program

Each year, more women enter the water industry with its well-paying jobs and employment opportunities ranging from water treatment to water resources management. Academic requirements to enter this industry vary from a certificate to a 4-year degree and the WQM program helps prepare women for all professional levels.

Women who want immediate entry into the water industry workforce can take the state water/wastewater operator/technician license prep courses in one semester, and upon passing the state license exam, become eligible for entry-level employment in water operations. Women who want to work as a scientist, consultant, or in business or regulatory fields have the choice to earn an associate of applied science degree with transfer options to some 4-year colleges.

Brooke RitterWhen Brooke Ritter was laid off from a call center job in June 2011 due to outsourcing, she began to worry about her future. Because of the nature of the lay-off, she qualified to go back to school funded by TAA. "Working with the TAA counselor, I found the Water Quality Management program at Red Rocks Community College," Brooke explains. "The [WQM] two-year program qualified for the funding and it is sure to give me a job for life.” With almost two semesters under her belt, Brooke anticipates a stable, well-paying job in the water treatment industry. “The Water Quality Management program is designed to give us real world experience, not just book learning.”

WQM is committed to women's success. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the program is actively supporting networking events with representation from women in water industries. Matching grant funding from the TAA-Department of Labor have created activities including: job readiness training workshops; tutoring; expanded evening classes and newly developed online classes that fit into a busy schedule; and access to the WQM career coach for consultation on non-academic services to help women stay in school.

WQM supports women in science and mathematics fields and is an affiliate member of the nationwide Association For Women In Science (AWIS).

Colorado School of Mines - Chevron Lecture SeriesInspiring Tomorrow's Leaders
TAACCCT AWIS - Association for Women in Science
National Science Foundation

We were excited to attend the Chevron Lecture Series hosted by Colorado School of Mines on Oct. 23rd, 2013. More information on this networking event here.

We were a proud supporter of the 2nd Annual Inspiring Tomorrow's Leaders event!

Learn more about the Women's Leadership Networking Event

get started button Get Started! Video: Women in WQM
Women in the Industry


Chelsea Campbell
Lab Lead Faculty

Yarrow Spitzfaden
WQM Advisor

by appointment only

Laura Aycock
Career Coach
ETC Room 5107

water resources photo