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Peer Mentoring Program: Providing Early Intervention and Support to Improve Retention and Success of Women in Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division: Retention of Undergraduate Students

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

26.1218.1 - 26.1218.11

DOI

10.18260/p.24555

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24555

Download Count

291

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer I. Clark Montana State University

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Jennifer Clark is an academic advisor in the Education, Health & Human Development College at Montana State University and a doctoral student in the Adult & Higher Education program. Her research focuses on undergraduate student success, retention, and peer advising and mentoring.

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Sarah L. Codd Montana State University

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Dr. Sarah Codd is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering program at Montana State University. She is also the is co-Director of the Magnetic Resonance Lab and the Director of Student Programs for the Montana INBRE Program (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence). She held research positions in England, New Zealand, Germany and New Mexico before moving to Montana in 2002.

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Angela Colman Des Jardins Montana State University

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Dr. Angela Des Jardins is the Director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) and Montana NASA EPSCoR, an assistant research professor in the Department of Physics at Montana State University, and current Chair of the NASA EPSCoR Caucus. Montana Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR are programs that work to strengthen education and research in Montana in fields related to aerospace science and engineering. Angela's mission is to use the ability of space to ignite the human sense of wonder; to engage Montana students, teachers and researchers in aerospace activity, capitalizing on our inherent fascination with discovery and exploration to further the drive to achieve great strides in STEM fields; to conduct research in solar astrophysics with an emphasis on student involvement; to cultivate a spirit of service.

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Christine M. Foreman Montana State University

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Brett W. Gunnink Montana State University

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Carolyn Plumb Montana State University

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Carolyn Plumb is the Director of Educational Innovation and Strategic Projects in the College of Engineering at Montana State University (MSU). Plumb has been involved in engineering education and program evaluation for over 25 years. At MSU, she works on various curriculum and instruction projects including instructional development for faculty and graduate students. She also serves as the college’s assessment and evaluation expert.

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Katherine Ruth Stocker

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Peer Advising Coordinator

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Abstract

Peer Mentoring Program: Providing early intervention and support to improve retention andsuccess of women in engineering, computer science, and physicsJennifer I. Clark1, Sarah L. Codd2, Angela C. Des Jardins3, Christine M. Foreman2, Brett W.Gunnink2, Carolyn Plumb2, Katherine Stocker3Affiliations:1 Department of Education, Montana State University2 College of Engineering, Montana State University3 Physics Department, Montana State UniversityAs the student to faculty ratio has grown in the College of Engineering at Montana StateUniversity, there was concern that students were less likely to have the necessary contacts withfaculty that help them establish the connections and sense of community essential to providingopportunities for growth. Last year a college-wide Peer-Mentoring program was initiated.The program began with two mentors and a subset of women in the college. An organizedprogram of activities was developed based on a theoretical framework that both trains andchallenges these mentors to provide informational resources, connections and support to allfreshmen and sophomore women in the college.The current program funds thirteen upper-division female mentors, each with a $2,000 annualstipend, to engage with all freshman and sophomore women in the College of Engineering and inPhysics. Each mentor is assigned about 30 mentees. The overall objectives of the Peer MentoringProgram are to: 1. Provide early intervention. 2. Ensure that 1st and 2nd year female students see positive role models. 3. Provide a well-informed, well-connected “helper” for 1st and 2nd year female students. 4. Get 1st and 2nd year female students involved in study groups. 5. Get 1st and 2nd year female students involved in student clubs and organizations. 6. Get 2nd year female students involved in research/internships/study abroad programs. 7. Increase 1st and 2nd year and 2nd to 3rd year retention of female students in engineering, computer science, and physics.The Peer Mentors participate in group training sessions involving reading, writing and discussionbased assignments in order to be successful Peer Mentors. All Peer Mentors participate in anetworking session with department heads and key administrators in the college. An example ofsome of the training materials being used for the Peer Mentors include: “Students HelpingStudents: A Guide for Peer Educators on Campuses” by F. B. Newton, S. Ender and J. Gardner;and Who Gets to Graduate? By P. Tough May 15, 2014http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/magazine/who-gets-to-graduate.html?_r=4;      

Clark, J. I., & Codd, S. L., & Des Jardins, A. C., & Foreman, C. M., & Gunnink, B. W., & Plumb, C., & Stocker, K. R. (2015, June), Peer Mentoring Program: Providing Early Intervention and Support to Improve Retention and Success of Women in Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24555

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015