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Successful Women Engineering Students: A Survey Assessment To Guide Our Efforts To Boost Women’s Retention

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Focus on Faculty

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

15.1145.1 - 15.1145.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16809

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

biography

Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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DANIEL W. KNIGHT is the engineering assessment specialist at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program in CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. He holds a B.A. in psychology from the Louisiana State University, and an M.S. degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of retention, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include assessment, evaluation and research for the ITL Program’s hands-on initiatives.

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biography

Katie Corner University of Colorado, Boulder

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KATHERINE CORNER is a senior completing a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating this spring, she will continue to pursue a M.S. in Computer Science, also from the University of Colorado, with research interests in artificial intelligence. Katherine is passionate about encouraging women in engineering; she has worked in various supporting roles on the CU campus and founded the QBuds Intern Mentor Program while working at Qualcomm, Inc.

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Beverly Louie University of Colorado, Boulder

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BEVERLY LOUIE is the director for teaching and learning initiatives in the Broadening Opportunities through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center in CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from CU, and a D.Phil. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oxford, England. Dr. Louie’s research interests are in the areas of engineering student retention and performance, teaching effectiveness and collaborative learning.

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Amber Shoals University of Colorado, Boulder

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AMBER SHOALS is a senior in the CU College of Engineering and Applied Science majoring in architectural engineering. She plans to attend graduate school after graduation.

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Cindy Cabrales University of Colorado, Boulder

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CINDY CABRALES is an employee of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Student Affairs Division in the Student Organizations Finance Office. She formerly worked at CU's BOLD Center in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Successful Women Engineering Students: A Survey Assessment to

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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. https://peer.asee.org/16809

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: © 2010 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