Retaining Women in Online Programs

Female students in online programs often face additional challenges in addition to their coursework – including working, parenting, and caregiving. What are the unique challenges mothers in online programs face, and what are the strategies that can ultimately help them stay in college and graduate?

This webcast will explore the issue with a mix of qualitative and quantitative research, examples of current national initiatives, and hearing from the women themselves. Audience participation and communication will be encouraged to create a robust discussion, that hopefully, continues at the WCET Annual Meeting during the session at the conference at 10:30 am - 11:15 am on Thursday, November 7.

Retaining Women in Online Programs” took place on September 12 at 8:00 AM HADT/9:00 AM AKDT/ 10:00 AM PDT and MST/ 11:00 AM MDT/ Noon CDT/ 1:00 PM EDT. WCET webcasts take place via Zoom.

Follow the Twitter feed at #WCETwebcast. The webcast is free and open to all.

The webcast will be recorded and available on the webpage with captions shortly after the live session. If you prefer live captioning during the webcast, please contact us.


Whitney KilgoreWhitney Kilgore
Chief Academic Officer
Whitney Kilgore is the chief academic officer at iDesign, which partners with universities to build, grow and support online and blended courses and program offerings. She also teaches courses in the Learning Technologies program at the University of North Texas. Previously she served as VP of Academic Services at Academic Partnerships and before that as the director of academic technology services at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

Cali MorrisonCali M.K. Morrison
Associate Dean, Alternative Learning
American Public University System
Cali M.K. Morrison, Ed.D. is associate dean, alternative learning at American Public University System. Previously Cali was the assistant director, communications and analysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Current research interests include competency-based education and the future of credentials. Cali lives near Bozeman, MT with her custom homebuilder hubby, two daughters, and dogs where she is active in the community, especially with Bozeman Area Community Foundation, Thrive, and Girls for a Change.

Patrice Torcivia PruskoPatrice Torcivia Prusko
Associate Director, Teaching and Learning Lab
Harvard University
Patrice Torcivia Prusko is currently the associate director of the learning designing team at the Teaching and Learning Lab, Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has extensive knowledge and research background in the student experience of OER in diverse contexts, international collaborations, online course development, and e-Portfolios. She earned her PhD from the University at Albany, SUNY School of Education with a research focus on the lived experience of women in STEM Majors.


Tanya SpilovoyTanya Spilovoy
Director, Open Policy
Tanya Spilovoy, Ed. D., is the director, Open Policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Spilovoy leads the Z Initiative which focuses on the policy, practice, and implementation of Open Educational Resources in states, systems, and higher education institutions. Previously, she served as the Director of Distance Education and State Authorization at the North Dakota University System. Spilovoy received her B.A. in English from Union College, a M.A. in Education from Hamline University, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Change from Benedictine University.