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The Win Program A Mentoring Program For Women In Engineering At The University Of Arkansas

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Conference

1997 Annual Conference

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

2.438.1 - 2.438.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/6901

Download Count

13

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Paper Authors

author page

Melissa S. Tooley

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

Session 2360

The WIN Program - A Mentoring Program for Women in Engineering at the University of Arkansas

Melissa S. Tooley, P. E. University of Arkansas

ABSTRACT

Engineering has traditionally been a male-dominated profession. While progress has been made in opening up technical fields to women and minorities, there is room for improvement. Nationwide, 18% of undergraduate engineering students are female, whereas the percentage is 15% at the University of Arkansas. At the University of Arkansas, the College of Engineering is losing a disproportionate number of female undergraduates between their sophomore and junior years. Because female engineering undergraduates tend to be an exceptionally bright group (women generally do not just "happen" into engineering), the profession is losing some of its best engineering candidates.

Now in its second year, the WIN (Women IN engineering) Program provides a mechanism to deal with this situation. The program consists of matching female freshmen and sophomore engineering majors with upperclass females in their department for the purpose of receiving advice and encouragement. The development of a support network for female undergraduates is making a positive difference with the University of Arkansas’ female undergraduates, and hopefully will result in keeping some of the best and brightest students in engineering.

While it is too early in the program to tell how retention rates will be affected, anecdotal evidence indicates that the WIN program is making a positive difference in the lives of female engineering undergraduates. The program has been described as forming a “sense of cohesiveness” among the women in the various departments, and has definitely made them more comfortable in the engineering environment. If retention rates can be improved, both the engineering profession and the society it serves will benefit from the unique skills that women bring to engineering.

INTRODUCTION

Engineering has traditionally been a male-dominated profession. While progress has been made in opening up technical fields to women and minorities, there is room for improvement. Nationwide, 18% of undergraduate engineering students are female, whereas the percentage is 15% at the University of Arkansas. At the U of A, the College of Engineering is losing a disproportionate number of female undergraduates between their sophomore and junior years. Because female engineering undergraduates tend to be an exceptionally bright group (women

Tooley, M. S. (1997, June), The Win Program A Mentoring Program For Women In Engineering At The University Of Arkansas Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6901

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