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Exploring the Benefits of a Women in Engineering preLUsion Program for Incoming First-Year Students

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2021 CoNECD


Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 1 Slot 3 Technical Session 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

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Paper Authors


Christina Viau Haden Lehigh University

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Dr. Haden is a professor of practice at Lehigh University. Her research involves the probabilistic analysis of additive manufactured metals. Besides her research and in addition to a passion for teaching, she has been interested in improving retention rates for women in STEM and as such, has become involved in a variety of activities around campus to that effect, including developing a preLUsion program for incoming women engineering students, establishing a hierarchical mentorship program for women within her department and more.

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Marci J. Levine Lehigh University

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Marci Levine, Ph.D. is co-Director of Lehigh University's ADVANCE Center for Women STEM Faculty. She supports and develops mentoring, productivity, recruitment training, men allies and advocates, and leadership development programming from the frame of inclusive excellence. She is also a member of the University Council for Equity and Committee. Marci earned her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Purdue University.

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Lehigh University Office of the First Year Experience offers preLUsion, a pre-Orientation experience in August for students starting that fall. preLUsion provides first-year students with an opportunity to explore a topic of their choice and engage with students and staff/faculty members who share a similar interest. Much of preLUsion is led by student leaders knowledgeable in that field and provides an exciting way to jumpstart the college experience by moving-in early and fostering connections while getting familiar with campus. Scholarships are available if the cost of a preLUsion is difficult for a student to cover. Since summer 2015, Lehigh’s PC Rossin CEAS has offered a Women in Engineering (WIE) preLUsion program which will be described in this presentation as an exploration of a promising practice. The three day long WIE program can accommodate 20-30 students. Participating students are paired with seven or eight student peer mentors for activities including: ice breakers, a campus-wide scavenger hunt, exposure to a variety of engineering tracks via mini-workshops, directed conversations on gender and inclusion, a ropes course challenge, and a seminar on how to survive and thrive during their engineering education.

Attendees to this presentation will learn about the logistics of organizing this program from the ground up, the impact of this WIE program over five cohorts of women students by reviewing longitudinal academic outcomes data compared to the overall cohort of engineering students, and consider the qualitative feedback describing the value-added to the women participants. The authors invite attendees to consider ways programs like this can be adapted, enhanced and sustained as part of an overarching college-level strategic plan to increase diversity and retention amongst undergraduate engineering students while expanding its attention to experiential learning.

Haden, C. V., & Levine, M. J. (2021, January), Exploring the Benefits of a Women in Engineering preLUsion Program for Incoming First-Year Students Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . 10.18260/1-2--36086

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