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A Plan To Retain Women Students In An Electrical Engineering Technology Program

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.35.1 - 3.35.6



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Stephanie Goldberg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3560

A Plan to Retain Women Students in an Electrical Engineering Technology Program

Stephanie Goldberg Department of Technology Buffalo State College


An innovative plan has been developed to secure the retention of women students in a four-year Electrical Engineering Technology program. Our aim is to recruit six to ten women and move them as a group through the complete program. Bolstering confidence levels, developing hands-on skills, and forming coping strategies are all addressed in unique and innovative ways. The thread that runs through the various components of our program is a group-based support network that moves with and coexists with the real-world demand of a technical environment. Every aspect of a technical climate such as being one of few women in classes will undoubtedly be experienced by these students. However, alongside will be a subset support environment to help anticipate these kinds of experiences and provide coping strategies. For example, the addition of an office hour spent between the group of women students and their professor will provide an alternative environment where women will be in a majority and can identify what they need from the professor.

1. Introduction

The successful completion of a four-year Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program by women students has been addressed with a unique and innovative plan. Our aim is to recruit six to ten women and move them as a group through our program. Confidence-building, hands-on skills development and coping strategies, are all addressed in unique ways. A group-based support system has been developed that coexists with the real-world demand of a technical environment. A typical four-year engineering technology program includes classes where women are few, where there are few (if any) female instructors, and where hands-on lab experience is taken for granted. Women students will have to face these environments as they move through and complete our traditional program. However, along the way, a coexisting support network is at work, providing a vehicle for group learning, a place to validate feelings and experiences, and a safe space to build up necessary skills. As an example, classes will undoubtedly consist of mostly male students and instructors will be mostly male. By providing identical course schedules for the women students, there will be a consistent group of women within their classes.

Our plan targets many issues faced by female students. Long-range goals include positive additions to our overall program and the exposure of women students to instructors,

Goldberg, S. (1998, June), A Plan To Retain Women Students In An Electrical Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7342

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