Asee peer logo

Catching Up to the 51%: Promoting Female Student Engagement in Computing Education

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division: Strategies Beyond the Classroom

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.333.1 - 26.333.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Reneta Davina Lansiquot New York City College of Technology

visit author page

Reneta D. Lansiquot is an Associate Professor and Program Director, Bachelor of Science in Professional and Technical Writing, as well as the Assistant Director of the Honors Scholars Program at New York City College of Technology. Dr. Lansiquot earned an A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems, a B.Tech in Computer Systems at the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, a M.S. in Integrated Digital Media at Polytechnic University (now NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering), and her Ph.D. in Educational Communication and Technology at New York University. Her mixed methodology research, focusing on interdisciplinary studies, has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles on varied topics such as technical writing, the future of science education, game design, virtual reality, and problem solving. Her book is entitled Cases on Interdisciplinary Research Trends in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Studies on Urban Classrooms (Information Science Reference, 2013).

visit author page


Hong Li New York City College of Technology

visit author page

Hong Li is an Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Computer Systems Technology Department at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics. Her focus are working with faculty constantly to keep curriculum updated to respond to the growth of computer technology; researching in project-based learning with digital generation; and promoting the retention of female students. Her research interests include artificial neural networks and applications in system identification and forecasting. She has worked on projects that have applied neural networks in highway rainfall drainage problems, the estimation of crude oil saturation and non-invasive glucose sensing problems.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Catching Up to the 51%: Promoting Female Student Engagement in Computing EducationThe demand for computing and information technology professionals is projected to grow about20% in the next ten years. However, United States Census data show that, although women makeup nearly half of the workforce, they hold only one quarter of all technology and computing jobsand have earned only 18% of the degrees awarded in computer and information science.In this presentation, we will describe an initiative of the College’s Computer SystemsTechnology (CST) Department undertaken to help us understand and respond to the current lowpercentage of female students in the major. The CST department offers two degrees: anAssociate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Computer Information Systems and a Bachelor ofTechnology (B.Tech) in Computer Systems. While the total enrollment of both degree programshas been steadily increasing over the past six years, the increase has largely been realized formale students while the percentage of female students has declined. Complementing ongoingstudies of this phenomenon, our focus has been on the female student body of the department. Afocus group of first-year and senior female students was formed and regularly gathered eachsemester to provide opportunities for female students and faculty members to share concerns,ideas, and experiences. Two surveys were conducted: one of all female students and another ofall male students. The surveys were designed in consultation with the College’s Assessment andInstitutional Research Office to help understand the motivation of female students, their personalprofessional goals, learning experiences, as well as challenges they face. Analysis of the surveyoutcomes guided strategies to a create female-friendly classroom environment as well as anawareness within all faculty members and students of the gender gap, and led to thedetermination to continue the efforts to inspire female students, supporting them throughout theirstudies and guiding them to be better prepared for what they choose after graduation, whether itbe higher education or a career.

Lansiquot, R. D., & Li, H. (2015, June), Catching Up to the 51%: Promoting Female Student Engagement in Computing Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23672

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: © 2015 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