June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Women in Engineering
15.1145.1 - 15.1145.13
Successful Women Engineering Students: A Survey Assessment to
In the fall of 2009, a college of engineering and applied science at a public, Rocky Mountain region university embarked on a new inclusive excellence initiative called Broadening Opportunity through Leadership & Diversity (BOLD). The BOLD Center is a new K-16 organizational structure to increase the performance, representation and retention through graduation of students who are underrepresented in engineering, including women, students of color, low income and first generation college attendees. A BOLD Center focus of concern is the declining retention rate of women that has dipped below that of men recently in our College. A survey consisting of 41 questions was distributed to all undergraduate engineering women in the college that incorporates scales from the Assessing Women in Engineering (AWE) assessment and from the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES). Five research questions were posed in the survey design:
-efficacy levels change during the program?
The survey generated 116 responses from 2 solicitations, with women students represented from every major across all four undergraduate years. An unintended outcome was that the sample largely consists of women with high grade point averages. Thus, this paper offers -efficacy and their views on the college climate, the benefits from various support systems advising, mentoring, social and financial and the existing programming and initiatives that can play a role in their achievements.
The results indicate that women students are interested and efficacious with respect to obtaining an engineering degree, and that the college climate is, on average, warm and accepting. However, women were less satisfied with advising, mentoring, and their financial support. Women students also perceive that they must sacrifice their outside interests to in engineering and in order to handle the course workload that they perceive as overly heavy. These results and others to be presented in this paper will shed light on the factors we retention and success in engineering education.
This paper analyzes the experiences of undergraduate women in engineering and applied science majors at a public, Rocky Mountain region university with about 30,000 undergraduate students. The survey and research were initiated to address two disturbing trends seen in undergraduate education in the United States. While women have historically been underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, the
Knight, D., & Corner, K., & Louie, B., & Shoals, A., & Cabrales, C. (2010, June), Successful Women Engineering Students: A Survey Assessment To Guide Our Efforts To Boost Women’s Retention Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16809
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