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A Systematic Literature Review on Improving Success of Women Engineering Students in the United States

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Practice I: Academic Success

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Pradeep Kashinath Waychal Western Michigan University Orcid 16x16

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Dr Pradeep Waychal is a visiting professor at the CRICPE of Western Michigan University, a founder trustee of Guruji Education Foundation that provides holistic support to the higher education of underprivileged students, and an academic adviser to many Indian educational institutes. Earlier, Dr Waychal has worked at Patni Computer Systems for 20 years in various positions including the head of innovations, NMIMS as the director Shirpur campus, and at College of Engineering Pune (COEP) as the founder head of the innovation Center.

Dr Waychal earned his Ph D in the area of developing Innovation Competencies in Information System Organizations from IIT Bombay and M Tech in Control Engineering from IIT Delhi. He has presented keynote / invited talks in many high profile international conferences and has published papers in peer-reviewed journals. He / his teams have won awards in Engineering Education, Innovation, Six Sigma, and Knowledge Management at international events. His current research interests are engineering education, software engineering, and developing innovative entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. He was chosen as one of the five outstanding engineering educators by IUCEE (Indo-universal consortium of engineering education) in 2017.

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Charles Henderson Western Michigan University Orcid 16x16

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Charles Henderson is a Professor at Western Michigan University (WMU), with a joint appointment between the Physics Department and the WMU Mallinson Institute for Science Education. He is the Director of the Mallinson Institute and co-Founder and co-Director of the WMU Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE). His research program focuses on understanding and promoting instructional change in higher education, with an emphasis on improving undergraduate STEM instruction. Dr. Henderson’s work has been supported by over $9M in external grants and has resulted in many publications (see He is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Henderson is the senior editor for the journal "Physical Review Physics Education Research" and has served on two National Academy of Sciences Committees: Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation, and Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education.

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In the modern world, women students have outpaced men students in earning degrees and assimilating in the new economy. However, their performance in the STEM disciplines and workforce, especially in engineering has been unsatisfactory. While the pre-2007 downward trend of graduation rate of women engineers seems to have been reversed in the 2007-2014 time-frame, the under-representation remains still significant - at below 20%.

Such sustained underrepresentation of women (and ethnic minorities) will create a lack of diversity in engineering workforce, which can hamper development of innovative and customer-centric solutions. Recognizing this, engineering education researchers have focused on examining women’s experiences and issues in engineering academic lives and workplaces, resulting in many research papers. This paper carries out a systematic review of some of those papers to synthesize a comprehensive and strong picture of the work done in improving success of women engineering students in the US. We chose papers published in the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE) from 1993 onwards that claimed to study gender and success within engineering programs and workplaces. We chose JEE, a publication of the American Society of Engineering Education, since it is the primary choice of engineering education researchers, especially in the US.

Waychal, P. K., & Henderson, C. (2018, June), A Systematic Literature Review on Improving Success of Women Engineering Students in the United States Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29738

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