June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Women in Engineering
This mixed-methods research study examined young women’s perceptions of their K-14 STEM pipeline experiences and their resulting choice to enter and persist in an engineering major. Despite the increase of women in the STEM workforce, women remain underrepresented among engineering majors (Beasley & Fischer, 2012; Heilbronner, 2012; Neihart & Teo, 2013). Few studies exist that utilize a retrospective approach to understand how the culmination of young women’s K-14 experiences have influenced their formation of individually held perceptions that lead to engineering persistence. It is this study’s aim to utilize a mixed-methods approach to answer the following research question: How do young women’s perceptions of their K-14 STEM experiences influence their decision to enroll and persist in an engineering major? These perceptions are explored through an ethnographic approach focusing on young women enrolled in engineering programs during their junior and senior years of study at a small private liberal arts university with eight engineering majors. The mixed-methods approach follows a sequential design method (Creswell, 2013) and utilizes questions in a quantitative Likert-type survey from the Academic Pathways for People Learning Engineering (APPLES) survey (Eris, Chachra, Chen, Sheppard, & Ludlow, 2010) and the Motivated Strategy Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991). The quantitative study results will lead to the development of open-ended, structured questions for conducting a qualitative focus group. Anonymity of all participants is maintained.
Keywords: STEM, young women, perceptions, pipeline, intervention, underrepresentation, engineering, persistence, retrospective, self-efficacy
Gurski, J. S., & Hammrich, P. L. (2017, June), Examining the Personal Nature of the K-14 Engineering Pipeline for Young Women Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28320
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