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Board 93 : Ten Ways Academic Libraries Can Help their Departments Increase Retention of Women Engineering Students

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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

Engineering Libraries Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Jean L. Bossart University of Florida Orcid 16x16

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Jean Bossart is an Associate Engineering Librarian at the University of Florida (UF). She assists students with research, data support, and citation management. She investigates and integrates creative technologies, such as 3D printing into the STEM discipline library services. She has a BS in chemical engineering and MS in environmental engineering from UF, over 20 years of experience in industry and consulting, and is a licensed professional engineer in Florida.

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Neelam Bharti University of Florida

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Since 2000, the percentage of undergraduate engineering degrees awarded to women in the United States has consistently remained around 20%. While more women may initially choose engineering as their major, too many do not earn an engineering degree. However, in graduation comparisons among different engineering departments, some programs, specifically agricultural, biological, biomedical, and environmental engineering, consistently show great success in the enrollment and retention of women. Research into women’s preference for these engineering disciplines suggests that women earn larger proportions of undergraduate degrees in programs where they perceive their career will benefit society in the long term and that these preferred programs offer both the motivation to persevere in the curriculum and, once completed, greater prospects for a more rewarding career. Based on these findings, university engineering departments can help motivate women to major in engineering and to stay engaged throughout their college careers by offering opportunities to address societal challenges and reinforce the potential contribution they can make through their career. Academic libraries can provide valuable support to their universities’ engineering departments in this important endeavor. This paper accompanies a poster presented at the 2018 American Society for Engineering Education conference in Salt Lake City and provides a discussion of initiatives in progress on programs implemented at the University of Florida (UF).

Bossart, J. L., & Bharti, N. (2018, June), Board 93 : Ten Ways Academic Libraries Can Help their Departments Increase Retention of Women Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30139

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