June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.695.1 - 8.695.13
Increasing the Support Network of Female Engineering Students Through Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Activities Elizabeth A. Thompson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. Ft. Wayne 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd. Ft. Wayne, IN 46805-1499 www.etcs.ipfw.edu/~thompson
This paper discusses the diverse activities of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. Ft. Wayne (IPFW) over the last three years to promote a sense of community, self-confidence, and mentoring among women engineering, technology, and computer science students. Descriptions and schedule of some activities are included.
Comprising a majority of the U.S. workforce, women make up only 8.5 percent of the nation's engineers. A number of programs have been launched over the past decade to recruit more women into the field, and while women now represent 20 percent of all engineering students, they remain more likely than men to switch out of the field, particularly in the first two years of college. A recent study concluded that women engineering undergraduates with a sense of community are more likely to persist in obtaining engineering degrees and to enter the workforce as engineers.1
For the past three years, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student chapter at Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. Ft. Wayne (IPFW) has been active in a number of functions to increase the sense of community, self-confidence, and mentoring among female engineering, technology, and computer science students. They have been active in recruiting a wide range of students, including both traditional and nontraditional female engineering, technology, and computer science students. Entering freshmen have been targeted through introductory letters, visibility during the orientation/registration process, and classroom visits. SWE activities, including picnics, guest speakers, plant tours, career days for area middle schools and high schools, and workshops designed for the participation of Girl Scouts, have been geared to appeal to a wide audience. Specifics of the activities are described below. First, however, a brief explanation of the structure of the engineering and technology departments at IPFW is provided to facilitate understanding of the SWE student organization there.
IPFW is a regional campus offering degrees from either Indiana University or Purdue University, depending on course of study. The organization chart of the IPFW School of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science is given in Table 1. Students in these courses of study earn Purdue degrees.
SWE is an organization whose mission is to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity. Student membership is open to anyone pursuing an undergraduate or graduate course of study towards a degree in engineering or related field in a Proceedings of the 2003 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Thompson, E. (2003, June), Increasing The Support Network Of Female Engineering Students Through Society Of Women Engineers Activities Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12463
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