Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
A low percentage of women students is prevalent in most engineering disciplines, resulting in a loss of diverse input and perspectives to the profession. Previous studies demonstrated that engineering programs commonly offer students few opportunities to choose their own courses as compared to their non-engineering campus peers. Preliminary research, survey, and enrollment findings led to the question as to whether the extent of curricular flexibility and customizability in an engineering program may differentially matter to women students. This preliminary quantitative study explored whether increased course choice opportunities (such as free electives, technical electives, etc.) correlated to higher enrollments of women and/or bachelor’s degrees earned by women in a sampling of chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering programs. Percentages of total degree credit hours comprised of free electives and course choices were delineated for 84 highly regarded engineering programs. Correlations were found between curricular choice and percentage female enrollments and bachelor’s degrees awarded to women. The results point to the need for additional research to ascertain whether providing more customizable degree program options may be a means of attracting more women to undergraduate engineering programs.
Forbes, M. H., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Sullivan, J. F., & Littlejohn, R. L. (2018, June), Probing Correlations Between Undergraduate Engineering Programs’ Customizability and Gender Diversity Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30892
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