June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Women in Engineering
12.221.1 - 12.221.9
An Integrated Living and Learning Community for First and Second Year Undergraduate Women in Science & Engineering
The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Village combines a group living experience with resident, upper-class mentors who assist in the transition to university life. Programs for the WISE community are designed to promote academic success, foster the formation of lasting relationships with fellow students, professors and mentors, and provide out-of-classroom experiences. The WISE Village is a supportive environment in which women engage in focused inquiry within their disciplines and develop the skills and talents necessary to become successful students and professionals in STEM fields.
When the WISE Village began in 2003, it was as a partnership with University Housing, the College of Engineering (COE), and the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS). The Village has since expanded to include the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and the College of Textiles (COT) and has grown from 56 participants in 2003 to 250 participants this academic year 2006-07. Currently, 60% of the women are freshmen, 35% are sophomores and 5% are juniors (mentors).
This paper will present an update on the WISE Village, a review of the program’s goals, in terms of assessment results from the first three years, and a discussion of the evolving plans of the Village, including the implementation of a sophomore track within the program.
Women only account for 24% of all science and engineering workers, although they comprise 46% of all workers (Graham & Smith, 2005).1 Moreover, women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For example only 20% of engineering baccalaureate degrees are awarded to women (NSF, 2004).2
Interest in science and engineering majors by female freshmen has not changed significantly in the past 25 years (NAP, 2006).3 Women are still found to leave science and engineering majors in greater percentages than men (Graham & Smith, 20051; Schroeder, 19984; Seymour and Hewitt, 1997).5 One study in engineering found that only 29% of top women stayed in the major whereas 82% of top men stayed (Schroeder, 1998).4 In an effort to reverse these trends, North Carolina State University (NCSU) developed the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Village, a living learning community of scholars for first and second year women. Encouraging and supporting more women to major in STEM fields in college “remains the single most important way to increase the representation of women in science and engineering occupations” (Graham & Smith, 2005, p.352) therefore the WISE Village was created to address these needs. 1
Titus-Becker, K., & Rajala, S., & Bottomley, L., & Raubenheimer, D., & Cohen, J., & Bullett, K., & Grant, S., & Cobb Payton, F., & Kirkman, A., & Kirby, B., & Krause, W., & Thomas, C. (2007, June), An Integrated Living And Learning Community For First And Second Year Undergraduate Women In Science And Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2611
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