July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Women in Engineering
The enrollment of females in engineering degree programs has not significantly improved for several decades. Nationally, the percentage of females enrolled in engineering degree pathways in four-year public universities has remained in the 15 – 20% range and that number for females who are also students of color is around 5%. With major efforts and financial resources having been applied to address this problem, there is currently a need to carefully identify and assess strategies and models that have demonstrably contributed to the persistence of women in engineering degree pathways. Among such models are the inclusion of counter spaces in STEM environments for underrepresented groups, peer mentors and mentoring opportunities as well as the students’ own agency in creating environments that promote belonging and success in the program. This study is part of a longitudinal effort at a public university in New England that begins with a summer program offered to incoming female students in engineering majors and continues with opportunities and support for the participants to become engaged as peer mentors and focus group facilitators in subsequent years. Using the results of a survey on student experiences in engineering majors administered to all students in their junior and senior years, we analyze the responses from participants in the summer program with those from students who did not have this opportunity. We also analyze the agency of those who have participated in the summer program with respect to their engagement in mentoring, leadership roles and efforts in recruiting students and facilitating focus groups. We will use a participatory action research (PAR) approach to examine how student-driven program evaluation processes can be used to formulate action steps for program change and increase sense of belonging, personal agency, and engineering identity among engineering undergraduates.
Tripathy, S. T., & Chandra, K., & Hsu, H., & Li, Y., & Reichlen, D. (2021, July), Engaging Women Engineering Undergraduates as Peer Facilitators in Participatory Action Research Focus Groups Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37049
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