June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Women in Engineering
26.333.1 - 26.333.9
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
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