Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
The academic and social integration of women in engineering majors does not occur in a vacuum. With the goal of expansion and improvement of educational and professional STEM opportunities for women, this convergent parallel mixed methods study was conducted to explore the impacts of a formal peer mentoring program at Stony Brook University, a large research university in the Northeast U.S. Social cognitive constructs including self-efficacy, persistence, and engagement were measured by a survey adapted from Assessing Women and Men in Engineering for first year female students (N = 51) in the Women in Science and Engineering Program (WISE). Most respondents (78%) reported that the initial decision to enter a science or engineering related field was because they were "good at math or science," while 70% "wanted to be able to get a well-paying job after graduation," and 54% "liked to solve problems." Most (72%) reported that the number one goal for entering the program was to "help me do well in my major," with 58% reporting "meeting other students my field" as a secondary goal. Many respondents (43%) reported that the organization with which they most strongly identified was the WISE program, with 98% expressing confidence in completing their degree. There were significant moderate to strong correlations between participation in the program and friendship development within majors, friendships within majors and anticipated success in a career related to the major, and academic and social integration between friends studying within the major and not giving up participation in outside interests, as well as shared personal interests. Qualitative findings showed that academic and social support were the two most common benefits from peer mentoring experienced by participants, indicating that the academic and social engagement provided by peer mentoring aspects of the program may be positive predictors of retention for first-year women in science and engineering.
Gatz, J. A., & Kelly, A. M., & Bugallo, M. (2018, June), The Power of Peer Mentoring of Undergraduate Women in Engineering: Fostering Persistence through Academic and Social Integration Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31119
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