A Six‐Year Longitudinal Study of Undergraduate Women in Engineering and Science*

Published on Oct 1, 1998in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
· DOI :10.1002/j.2168-9830.1998.tb00367.x
Suzanne G. Brainard6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Washington),
Linda Carlin4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Washington)
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.
  • References (5)
  • Citations (228)
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References5
Suzanne G. Brainard6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Washington),
Suzanne Laurich-McIntyre2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Washington),
Linda Carlin4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Washington)
16 Citations Source Cite
Suzanne G. Brainard6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Washington),
L. Ailes-Sengers1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Washington)
20 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1990
Ruth Carter5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Gill Reviewer-Kirkup12
Estimated H-index: 12
102 Citations Source Cite
Cited By228
Published on Apr 1, 2016in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
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...
13 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2013in International Journal of Engineering Education 0.57
Brandi N. Geisinger3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Iowa State University),
D. Raj Raman15
Estimated H-index: 15
A large number of students leave engineering majors prior to graduation despite efforts to increase retention rates. To improve retention rates in engineering programs, the reasons why students leave engineering must be determined. In this paper, we review the literature on attrition from engineering programs to identify the breadth of factors that contribute to students’ decisions to leave. Fifty studies on student attrition from engineering programs were included in the primary part of this li...
31 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2014in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
Helen M. Doerr14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Syracuse University),
Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Linköping University),
Andria Costello Staniec3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Syracuse University)
Background Since students' success in their first-semester college mathematics course is a key factor in their success in engineering, many summer bridge programs for underrepresented students focus on their preparation in mathematics. However, research on the design and efficacy of such programs is limited. We examine the design and effectiveness of a modeling-based approach to mathematics for entering freshmen engineering students. Purpose The study addresses two questions: Does a modeling-bas...
5 Citations Source Cite
Zora Vrcelj10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Shana Krishnan1
Estimated H-index: 1
Past research has attributed many reasons for the under-representation of women in engineering and academic careers which start from childhood and progress all the way to professional levels in adulthood. The focus of this research is on understanding barriers to further education experienced by female students in engineering in order to encourage them into postgraduate study and an academic career. A pilot study, an extensive survey of current students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and ...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 9, 2009in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Andrea Wolffram3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Hamburg University of Technology),
Wibke Derboven2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Hamburg University of Technology),
Gabriele Winker6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Hamburg University of Technology)
Purpose – Scholarship on women in engineering education mainly focuses on the question of how to attract more women to this subject. The topic concerning women in engineering education is here guided by the question of why women leave engineering studies. The paper aims to examine the main conflicts women encounter in engineering education and to derive implications for interventions suited for strengthening institutional bonding forces.Design/methodology/approach – The question is approached th...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2015in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
Hyun Kyoung Ro6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Carnegie Mellon University),
Dan Merson2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Pennsylvania State University)
+ 1 AuthorsPatrick T. Terenzini53
Estimated H-index: 53
(Pennsylvania State University)
Background Engineering educators and practitioners increasingly value contextual competence. A psychometrically sound, practical, and useful scale for assessing undergraduate engineering students' contextual competence is needed. Purpose/Hypothesis This article provides comprehensive evidence of the content, structural, discriminant, and criterion-related validity of the contextual competence scale. Design/Method This study used student, alumni, and faculty survey data from a nationally represen...
9 Citations Source Cite
Across the world, initiatives have been introduced to encourage women to enter into and remain in engineering fields. However, research has shown that many women leave engineering or suffer a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence compared to their male counterparts. To address this problem, a South African comprehensive university developed a self-leadership intervention pilot study in 2013, aimed at improving the self-efficacy of its female engineering students and increasing retention rates....
1 Citations
Published on Aug 1, 2015in Interfaces 0.89
Kayse Lee Maass1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Michigan),
Vera Mann Hey Lo (University of Michigan)+ 1 AuthorsMark S. Daskin37
Estimated H-index: 37
(University of Michigan)
We present a new formulation for assigning students to groups to maximize the diversity within each group. We compare its solution to that of the well-known linearized maximally diverse grouping problem. The new formulation minimizes similar student attributes within a group by penalizing the deviations from the target number of students with each attribute within each group. We apply the model to the task of assigning University of Michigan Engineering Global Leadership EGL Honors Program stude...
Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2014in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
Joseph A. Raelin28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Northeastern University),
Margaret B. Bailey7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Rochester Institute of Technology)
+ 3 AuthorsDavid Whitman5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Wyoming)
Background:Longstanding data have established that women earn about 20% of undergraduate degrees in engineering. It has also been reported that women students have lower academic self-efficacy in the STEM fields than men. In this study, we seek to probe into these findings through a longitudinal design that explores whether cooperative education can improve the retention of women (as well as of men) in their undergraduate studies.Purpose:This study examines the effect on retention of demographic...
22 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2012in Journal of Engineering Education 1.98
Cheryl Allendoerfer5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Washington),
Denise Wilson8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Washington)
+ 6 AuthorsNanette Veilleux11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Simmons College)
19 Citations Source Cite