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A Six‐Year Longitudinal Study of Undergraduate Women in Engineering and Science*
Abstract
In 1991, the Women in Engineering (WIE) Initiative at the University of Washington was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to conduct a longitudinal study of undergraduate women pursuing degrees in science or engineering. Cohorts of approximately 100 students have been added to the study each year, for a current total of 672 participants. The objectives are: (a) to determine an accurate measure of retention by tracking individual students through their science and engineering academic careers; (b) to examine factors affecting retention of women in science and engineering; and (c) to evaluate the effectiveness of WIE’s programs targeted at increasing enrollment and retention of women in science and engineering. These programs include interventions primarily during the freshman and sophomore years, which are critical attrition points. The results of this study are reported annually to the Dean of Engineering and related departments for consideration in policy formulation. Annual results of the study have shown consistent patterns of persistence factors and barriers for these high-achieving women; most notably a significant drop in academic self-confidence during their freshman year in college. In addition, individual tracking of these women has shown a retention that is much higher than the estimated national average for engineering and science students.
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  • Cited By (223)
Suzanne G. Brainard7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Washington),
Suzanne Laurich-McIntyre2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Washington),
Linda Carlin4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Washington)
Cited 16
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Suzanne G. Brainard7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Washington),
L. Ailes-Sengers1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Washington)
Cited 20 Cite this paper
Ruth Carter7
Estimated H-index: 7
,
Gill Kirkup15
Estimated H-index: 15
Cited 99 Source Cite this paper
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  • Cited By (223)
Juliette Spearman2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Monash University),
Helen Margaret Gilchrist Watt22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Monash University)
Increasingly, over the past 50 years, women have been studying and working in professions once dominated by men. In 80% of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations women now equal or exceed the numbers of men completing tertiary level education (OECD, 2010).
Ref 86Cited 3
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Rose M. Marra20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Pennsylvania State University),
Cherith Moore1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Pennsylvania State University),
Mieke Schuurman3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Pennsylvania State University)
... more
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Natasha Johanna A. Mamaril1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Kentucky)
Background Self-efficacy has been shown to be positively related to undergraduate engineering students' achievement. Designing self-efficacy measures to assess the multifaceted skills required of engineers could improve the predictive relationship between efficacy beliefs and performance. Purpose This study evaluates the factor structure, validity, and reliability of general and skill-specific engineering self-efficacy measures created for use with undergraduate engineering students. Design/Meth...
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Kristine De Welde2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Sandra L. Laursen17
Estimated H-index: 17
,
Heather Thiry8
Estimated H-index: 8
Ref 17Cited 6 Source
xvii 1. Background 1 1.1 Intrinsic Motivation 1 1.2 Achievement Motivation 2 1.3 Gender Influences 3 1.4 Educational Influences 5 1.4.1 Educational Influences 5 1.4.2 Topical Knowledge: Sustainability 5 1.4.3 Character Development: Cultural Awareness 6 1.5 Engineering Design Motivation 7 1.6 Purpose of Study 8 1.7 Research Questions 8 1.7.1 Quantitative Hypotheses 8 1.7.2 Qualitative Hypotheses 9 2. Assessment Methods 11 2.1 Quantitative Methodology: Assessment Instruments 12 2.1.1 Readiness to ...
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