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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering


pages 255-267

RETAINING FEMALE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE: 1995 ANNUAL REPORT TO THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION

Suzanne Gage Brainard
Center for Workforce Development, University of Washington, 101 Wilson Annex, Box 352135, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
Suzanne Laurich-McIntyre
College of Engineering, University of Washington, 101 Wilson Annex, Box 352135, Seattle, WA 98195-2135
Linda Carlin
College of Engineering, University of Washington, 101 Wilson Annex, Box 352135, Seattle, WA 98195-2135

ABSTRACT

With a six-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Women in Engineering (WIE) Initiative at the University of Washington is conducting a longitudinal study of undergraduate women pursuing degrees in science or engineering. Now in its fifth year, four of six cohorts of approximately 100 students each year have been added to the study. The objectives of this study are to (a) determine a more accurate measure of retention by tracking individual students through their science and engineering academic careers; (b) examine the factors affecting retention of females in science and engineering; (c) increase the retention rates of female students pursuing degrees in science and engineering by providing support resources for the students themselves, primarily during the freshman and sophomore years, which are critical attrition points; and (d) report these factors to the dean and departments involved for consideration in policy development.