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The Role of Female Engineering Faculty in Female Student Success and Belonging: A Case Study at California State University, Fresno

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Gender Track - Technical Session VI

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Gender

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29585

Download Count

60

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Paper Authors

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Lalita G. Oka California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Lalita Oka is an Assistant Professor in the department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering at the California State University, Fresno. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level Geotechnical Engineering courses. Her research interests include Geomechanics, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Experimental and Numerical Modeling and Engineering Pedagogy.

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biography

Kimberly Stillmaker P.E. California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Stillmaker is an Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at CSU, Fresno. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in structural engineering. She attained her PhD in Civil Engineering at UC Davis. Her research interests include seismic analysis and design of steel structural and gender equity in engineering.

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Abstract

The role of female engineering faculty in female student success and belonging: A case study at California State University, Fresno Lalita G. Oka, Ph.D.; Kimberly Stillmaker, Ph.D.

Abstract Despite significant increases in female enrollment in engineering baccalaureate degree programs since the 1970s, the percentage of B.S. degrees awarded to female students in engineering continues to be the lowest of all fields in the United States. The problem is further compounded in minority serving institutions such as California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), for multiple reasons including lack of engineering role models and mentors for female minority students. In the currently ongoing study, the authors are investigating the relationship between the presence of female engineering faculty on female engineering student success metrics, e.g. graduation rates, confidence and sense of belonging among female engineering students. The hypothesis of this study is that increasing the number of female engineering faculty leads to increases in the student success metrics investigated for female engineering students. To test this hypothesis, a survey is being conducted on the female and male students of the Lyles College of Engineering as well as ten additional departments categorized as female-dominated and gender-balanced based on female student enrollment. In this article, the authors present the data on female engineering students in a quantitative historical context and are benchmarked against male engineering student as well as data from female-dominated and gender-balanced degree programs. The data analysis clearly shows that graduation rates of the female student are higher than the male students irrespective of the gender of the instructors. The survey questions for qualitative research on the perception of success for female students are also included.

Oka, L. G., & Stillmaker, K. (2018, April), The Role of Female Engineering Faculty in Female Student Success and Belonging: A Case Study at California State University, Fresno Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29585

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