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A Three Year Analysis Of The Benefits Accrued By Women Engineering And Science Students Who Participate In A Large Scale E Mentoring Program

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Women in Engineering: New Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.124.1 - 7.124.12



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Paper Authors

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Richard M. Single

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William S. Carlsen

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Christine M. Cunningham

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Carol B. Muller

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Peg Boyle Single

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Main Menu Session Number: 2002-888

A Three Year Analysis of the Benefits Accrued by Women Engineering and Science Students who Participated in a Large- Scale E-Mentoring Program

Peg Boyle Single, Carol B. Muller, Christine M. Cunningham, Richard M. Single, William S. Carlsen

MentorNet/MentorNet/Tufts University/ University of Vermont/Penn State University


MentorNet (, the E-Mentoring Network for Women in Engineering and Science, leverages technology and draws on the benefits of mentoring to address the underrepresentation of women in engineering, science, math, and technology fields. A multi- institutional, large-scale, structured electronic mentoring (e-mentoring) program, MentorNet pairs women students in engineering, science, math, and technology fields with industry professionals who volunteer as mentors, and supports them through year-long e-mentoring relationships.

This paper reports on the most salient benefits accrued for women students based on three years of evaluation results from the 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01 program years. During these three years, MentorNet matched, supported, and helped facilitate more than 3,700 e- mentoring pairs, which represented women students from 70 colleges and universities, and professionals from more than 700 corporations, professional societies, governmental agencies and laboratories. The collective program evaluations support the need for and efficacy of the program. For all three-time periods, at least 80% of the students reported they would recommend MentorNet to other students. Both students and mentors emphasized the importance of making the college-to-work connection and identified this as the primary reason for participating in MentorNet. The college-to-work connection provided students with invaluable knowledge about their career opportunities, the benefits of networking, and the development of networking skills. The students reported increased self-confidence, enhanced knowledge of the workplace and workplace skills, and valuing the support they received from knowledgeable and impartial mentors. These benefits are particularly important since they address the obstacles faced by women pursuing degrees in fields where they are underrepresented.


Engineering has remained a field in which women are severely underrepresented. Over the past 30 years the number of women and men in most educational fields has converged, including some science and math fields. As a career aspiration, however, engineering still shows the

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Single, R. M., & Carlsen, W. S., & Cunningham, C. M., & Muller, C. B., & Single, P. B. (2002, June), A Three Year Analysis Of The Benefits Accrued By Women Engineering And Science Students Who Participate In A Large Scale E Mentoring Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11295

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