Crystal City, Virginia
April 29, 2018
April 29, 2018
May 2, 2018
Diversity and Computing
Women are drawn to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with a purpose to “change the world” and the opportunity to engage in a meaningful STEM experience early in their academic career can serve as a strong recruitment and retention tool (Carlone & Johnson, 2007). Service-learning provides a space for students to implement theory to practice and increase the likelihood of persistence. In particular, Vogelgesang, Ikeda, Gilmartin, and Keup (2002) report that students participating in service-learning projects in their first-year of college, indicate higher levels of success than those that did not, including academic and personal development.
The area of STEM and service-learning is an essential partnership because of the opportunity for students to experience how they can make a difference together through improvement of lives and communities (National Academy of Engineering [NAE], 2008). In other words, the population lends itself to align with the primary purpose of service-learning at the institutional level. More specifically, Haber (2012) notes that women’s understanding of leadership is more collaborative in nature. This understanding fits well with the team leadership learning outcome of service-learning projects in leadership courses (Sessa, Matos, & Hopkins, 2009). Benefits of service-learning include the development of personal self-efficacy through community service (Reeb, Folger, Langsner, Ryan, Crouse, 2010) which is significant as women in STEM majors report lower levels of leader efficacy than women in non-STEM majors (Dugan, Fath, Howes, Lavelle, & Polanin, 2013). In addition, service-learning shows gains in other areas including social justice, ethics, and civility (Harkavy & Hartley, 2010; Stanton, Giles, & Cruz, 1999).
For the past four years, the Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) and Leadership Studies Program have collaborated to develop a high-impact leadership experience for first-year women majoring in STEM fields at a large, Midwestern university. Presenters will discuss course structure, funding models, service-learning project design, and developing community partnerships. The presentation will provide findings from a qualitative study examining how service-learning impacts first-year women in STEM. Finally, the presenters will offer descriptive data highlighting how the WiSE students made meaning of the experience and the benefits of service-learning and its impact on the retention and persistence of first-year STEM students.
Manning-Ouellette, A., & Chrystal, L. L. G., & Parrott, A. (2018, April), A WiSE Approach: Examining how Service Learning Impacts First-year Women in STEM Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29511
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015