PROMOTING UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Marsha Lakes Matyas
Dr. Matyas, director of the Women in Science Program in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), has examined student interest and enrollment in and attrition from science and engineering studies through a series of studies and papers over the last 10 years at AAAS and Purdue University. Information in this chapter that supplements the conference deliberations is drawn primarily from that research. In particular, she presents findings from the 1991 AAAS study and report, Investing in Human Potential. Science and Engineering at the Crossroads.
Identifying and Defining the Problem
As shown in Figure 4-1, in general, women tend to earn baccalaureates in psychology, the social sciences, and the life sciences while men most often pursue bachelor's degrees in engineering, the social sciences, and the life sciences. For more than 20 years, U.S. higher education institutions have recognized that special efforts are necessary to increase the gender and racial/ethnic diversity of undergraduate science and engineering (S&E) majors, especially in those subfields where they are present only in very small percentages. In general, progress has been made from 1980 to 1989, with the overall percentage of baccalaureates awarded to women increasing in both science and engineering. Efforts to enhance women's participation have been targeted at a variety of potential problem areas:
generating interest in and prerequisite skills for S&E studies among female and/or minority students (Malcom, 1983; Matyas, 1987, 1988);
converting precollege interests into matriculation with intent to major in an S&E field; and
preventing attrition among S&E majors, especially attrition due to
lack of adequate financial aid (Matyas, 1987, 1988; Malcom, 1983).
Unfortunately, many institutions' selection of problem areas to target are not based upon actual data pinpointing specific problems at their institutions. According to a recent study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), only 55 percent of the 276 U.S. colleges and universities participating in the study routinely calculated graduation or attrition rates for undergraduate students in all majors (Matyas and Malcom, 1991). Even fewer institutions calculated these rates separately for women (42 percent) or racial/ethnic minorities (44 percent). Therefore, institutional efforts may or may not be specifically focused on the problem faced by the particular institution.
By closely monitoring student progress through the undergraduate educational system, institutions can pinpoint whether underrepresented groups are or are not being recruited into S&E studies from secondary schools, having academic and/or social success in the first year of studies, and/or persisting in S&E studies after the initial semesters. Reasons for attrition from science and engineering (and subsequent solutions) differ at each of these levels, and these issues must be examined by specific S&E fields.
Having pinpointed the likely target areas for intervention, institutional personnel must then decide what types of strategies to use to increase recruitment and/or retention in these three areas. Although the focus of the National Research Council's Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) is on programs beginning at the undergraduate level, it is appropriate to insert here a brief review of the types of precollege efforts in operation for two reasons. First, many of the effective undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts by colleges and universities are grounded in outreach efforts at the precollege level. Second, research on precollege efforts provides useful information about the development and improvement of efforts at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Table 4-1 includes listings of target groups and program models for intervention at the precollege level. Briefly, recruitment efforts at the precollege level tend to introduce students to science and engineering careers, to the specific sponsoring institution, and to the academic courses, skills, and extracurricular activities needed to succeed
TABLE 4-1: Precollege Intervention Target Groups and Program Models
Programs for Students
Test-taking Skills Training
Academic Enrichment Programs
• After-school Workshops/Tutoring Programs
• Saturday Academies
• Summer Workshops
• Computer Camps
• University/College Accelerated Programs
• Academic Contests
Internships and Summer Jobs
Programs for Teacher
Academic Enrichment Programs (content and/or skills)
Science Resource Programs for Schools
Programs for Parents
Workshops and Courses
SOURCE: Marsha Lakes Matyas, Intervention Programs in Mathematics and Science for Precollege Females: Program Types and Characteristics , invited research report and presentation for the Bush Foundation Board of Directors, St. Paul, MN, 1988.
in science and engineering studies. They may also provide students with summer residential experiences in academic studies and research. Retention efforts range broadly from scholarships and internships to multi-year programs that involve students on a daily or weekly basis. Each of these program types has different goals and different levels of activity. As shown in Table 4-2, precollege efforts target both behaviors and attitudes of participants; the same is usually true of undergraduate intervention programs. Previous studies have identified some characteristics common to many effective precollege and undergraduate S&E intervention programs—that is, those that have under
TABLE 4-2: Attitudes and Behaviors Affected by Precollege Program Activities
gone evaluation which proved that programmatic goals had been achieved (Malcom, 1983; Clewell and Ficklen, 1986; George et al., 1987; Matyas and Malcom, 1991):
Goals are well-defined.
A plan has been developed for evaluating the program's effectiveness.
Strategies are based on current educational research findings and the program does not depend upon a single strategy for success.
Participants are recruited from diverse racial/ethnic groups and have input into the design and implementation of the program activities.
The program has strong support from and involvement of the sponsoring university's faculty and administration through group mentoring programs, advisory boards, laboratory visits, and/or research experiences for students.
The program includes multi-year involvement with participants, strong academic components, daily or weekly contact with students, strong peer support networks, low or no fees for participation (or readily available financial aid), hands-on (laboratory) activities, inquiry approaches, cooperative learning situations, residential experiences for participants such as overnights, bridge programs, and summer programs where appropriate, and involvement of role models from both academe and industry.
Outreach activities include activities with parents and teachers as well as students and have follow-up components for all three groups.
Although no program has all of these characteristics, effective programs tend to have many of them.
A number of S&E programs at the undergraduate level were highlighted during the CWSE conference, representing many of the S&E program types listed in Table 4-3. Those described below are examples of the many efforts occurring around the country. The examples are far from a comprehensive listing of current intervention efforts at the undergraduate level. Rather, they provide a sample of the diverse approaches taken by higher education institutions, professional associations, federal agencies, private industry, and others to address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in science and engineering (see also Appendix Table A-1).
TABLE 4-3: Types of Undergraduate Intervention Programs
• Retention program (usually for ''at-risk'' students—that is, those who are most likely to withdraw from either a particular academic major or the institution for either academic or non-academic reasons)
• Recruitment/admissions programs (all fields)
• Tutoring and study skills centers (courses)
• Activities through the office of women's and/or minority affairs
Science, and Engineering Programs
• Recruitment programs
• Comprehensive retention programs
• Support for student research involvement [for example, Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)]
• Scholarships and forgivable loans
• Bridge programs (summer transition from high school to college)
• Mentoring activities and student chapters of professional associations
• Science/mathematics learning centers and skills improvement programs
• Internships/summer work experience
SOURCE: Marsha Lakes Matyas and Shirley M. Malcom, Investing in Human Potential: Science and Engineering at the Crossroads , Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1991.
Recruitment Programs/Comprehensive Retention Programs
Effective recruitment efforts are often combined with retention efforts in the form of larger, more comprehensive programs that interact with students over a number of years. One well-established example of this type of effort is the Women In Engineering Program (WIEP) at Purdue University. Established in 1974, the program targets women in engineering. Recruitment activities for elementary, middle, and high school students include work with local Girl Scouts, essay contests, outreach speakers for schools, summer
camps, videos, on-campus career days, and scholarships for incoming freshmen. Retention efforts include an introductory "Women in Engineering" course for freshmen; a buddy system, which pairs female upperclassmen with incoming freshmen; special plant trips and shadow programs, in which students follow practicing engineers during a typical work day; and seminars for female seniors preparing to enter the work place. As a result, the recruitment and retention statistics on women enrolled in engineering at Purdue are higher than national averages. For example, the retention rate for women has risen from 25 percent in 1974 to 55 percent in 1991, equal to that of men majoring in engineering at Purdue (Daniels, 1990).
Although programs of this type are less often found in schools of science, a notable example is the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering at Douglass College. In addition to utilizing some of the recruitment and retention strategies noted above, the Douglass College program makes science and engineering a "live-in" experience by coordinating the admission to and activities of a residence hall for 100 undergraduate and graduate women majoring in science, mathematics, or engineering. Special programs at the residence hall are open to non-residents as well.
Student Research Involvement
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program was established in 1972; its Honors Undergraduate Research Training Program provides grants to junior and senior honors students at minority institutions. The overall goal is to increase the number of minority students who enter doctoral studies in biomedicine. In addition to receiving stipends, tuition, fees and travel funds, students receive research training, participate in honors courses and seminars, and spend summers conducting research at prominent research institutions. Currently, the program is being expanded to include freshman and sophomore students. The NIH also supports the involvement of minority students in research through its Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program. Evaluations of both the MARC and MBRS programs highlight their effectiveness in recruiting members of racial/ethnic minority groups into biomedical careers (Garrison and Brown, 1985). However, many studies of the effectiveness of programs open to both women and men do not evaluate the extent of the programs' effectiveness separately for women and men. For instance, although women comprised 55 percent of the respondents to the MARC survey (Garrison and Brown, 1985), analyses of the extent to which women
participate in the program and earn advanced degrees in biomedical sciences were not undertaken.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Scholars Program involves undergraduate students in summer and academic year research experiences in biology. Minority students are especially recruited for this program.
Scholarships and Forgivable Loans
AT&T funds undergraduate scholarships in the fields of engineering, computer science, mathematics, and physical science for both minorities and women through two programs: the Engineering Scholarship Program (ESP) and the Dual Degree Scholarship Program (DDSP). The ESP makes about 15 new awards each year, providing 60 students annually with full tuition, fees, books, and room and board for four years to maintain a steady state of 60. It also provides each student with a summer job and a mentor. The DDSP offers similar benefits for minority students attending one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that comprise the Atlanta University Center for three years. These students later transfer to schools of engineering at partner institutions for the final two years of study.
The California State University (CSU) at Los Angeles has a variety of programs for undergraduate students, including a Forgivable Loan Doctoral Incentive Program to encourage undergraduate women and minorities to pursue doctoral degrees in targeted disciplines. Students receive up to $10,000 per year for three years to attend the graduate institution of their choice. After graduation, the loan recipient can reduce the loan amount by 20 percent for each year of service as a faculty member at one of the 20 CSU campuses. In existence since 1987 and funded by the California State Lottery, the Forgivable Loan Doctoral Incentive Program has been evaluated by an external group, which concluded that the program is effective. In fact, in the four years, 1987–1990, 44 students participating in this program have received their doctorates, and 26 of them are employed as CSU faculty. Furthermore, of the 469 students enrolled in the program since 1987, only 18 have dropped out of their Ph.D. program.
The CSU system also conducts a summer bridge program to assist students in transition from high school or community college to the university. The program targets minority students and involves over 2,500 students each year on 19 campuses. Program activities include diagnostic testing, English
and mathematics instruction, academic advising, and orientation to university fife. The program has raised the one-year retention rate for participating students higher than the systemwide average and has improved two-year retention rates for those students most at risk of dropping out.
The Association for Women in Science is currently coordinating a mentoring program through its 47 local chapters (Bird, 1991). The program is designed to increase student interest in and enthusiasm for science careers and to encourage talented students to remain in the educational pipeline by providing them with a clearer understanding of careers in science. Chapter mentoring activities provide a support structure for women already committed to a science major; introduce options in the sciences to students who may not have previously considered a science major; and provide encouragement, support, and assistance to undergraduate and graduate women science students. Mentors and chapter activities address a wide range of issues and topics that are critical to successful professional development in general, as well as specific issues that are of particular relevance to women. Activities include receptions for undergraduate and graduate students, role model panels, research seminars, career development seminars, travel awards for students to attend professional meetings, pairing of mentors with students to promote a variety of one-on-one interactions, and paid and unpaid laboratory internships. One example of an AWIS mentoring program is that of the Dartmouth Chapter, which, in conjunction with the Women in Science Program, reaches 25 percent of freshmen women.
Undergraduate mentoring activities are frequently found in the form of "Big Sister" programs in which junior and senior undergraduate women mentor freshmen women in science or engineering. These programs are being successfully implemented at Purdue University (as described above) and as part of the comprehensive effort by the Women in Engineering (WIE) Initiative at the University of Washington. Such programs are no doubt also operating successfully at other universities, both in schools of engineering and schools of science. Student chapters of organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers often coordinate these activities, as they do at Purdue University.
Augmenting Course Activities
The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) at the University of Texas-Austin is an excellent example of how high expectations can facilitate
achievement and persistence. Based on the work of Uri Treisman, director of the Dana Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Texas at Austin, the ESP is one of 125 nationwide that involve students from diverse racial/ethnic groups and mathematics backgrounds in an intensive discussion section and coordinated group work attached to a standard calculus lecture (Wheeler, 1992). ESP is an honors program that serves a unique group of students: those who have "shown promise for achievement in mathematics and science based on their high school work" (McCaffrey, 1991, p. 3) but who earned SAT scores 100 points lower, on average, than is typical of honor students. Three-quarters of the students in the program are black or Hispanic, and most come from small town/rural or inner city schools and are not accustomed to intense academic competition. The program stresses high academics and, according to evaluation results, accomplishes its goals. While fewer than one third of black and Hispanic students at the university typically receive As or Bs in calculus, 90 percent of the minority students enrolled in ESP do so (McCaffrey, 1991). Furthermore, by the end of their third year, 86 percent of ESP students are still enrolled as science or engineering majors, compared to only 40–50 percent of all students at the university who originally enrolled as science or engineering majors. Although these comparison samples are not identical, the dramatic differences in performance and persistence between minority students in the ESP and those who are taking calculus are strong indicators of the effectiveness of this program. As the program (now only in its fourth year) continues, more comprehensive evaluations will be conducted.
Internships and Summer Work
Internships and summer work experiences are often found as components of comprehensive programs (such as Purdue's WIEP), as a part of a scholarship or fellowship (for example, the AT&T scholarships), or as a portion of student research involvement efforts (such as MARC or the Howard Hughes Program). Additional examples include the AT&T Summer Research Program for Women and Minorities for undergraduate juniors and seniors; the Argonne National Laboratory Science and Engineering Research Semester, which is designed to encourage undergraduates to pursue advanced degrees; and the Hewlett-Packard Student Employment and Educational Development (SEED) program, which emphasizes the participation of women and minorities in engineering and computer science. The Argonne and Hewlett-Packard programs are open to all undergraduates in science and engineering.
At the conference held by CWSE in 1991, participants discussed the process of developing and implementing program models at various institutions. Five steps in this process relate specifically to undergraduate programs:
After clearly defining the goals and the planned strategies, support should be developed among top administration, faculty, and students. These supporters should have input into the design of the intervention programs.
Specific and measurable goals should be set, and both formative (ongoing) and summative (end goal) evaluation plans should be developed.
Appropriate funds should be secured for the program. These funds may be external, internal, or (more commonly) a combination of both. The funding mix will often be different at initiation and in the steady state.
Participants should represent diverse racial/ethnic groups and geographic areas.
Program activities should be revised, based upon evaluation results.
The steps for implementing model programs at other levels of the education/employment pipeline are discussed in subsequent chapters of this report.
Beyond Intervention: Rethinking the Undergraduate Experience
Science and engineering intervention programs for undergraduate students were developed originally as "stop gap" measures to provide additional information, encouragement, and financial and social support for female and minority undergraduate students to pursue degrees in nontraditional areas. The ultimate goal has been to increase the flow of these underrepresented students through the S&E undergraduate educational process until they are no longer perceived (and perceive themselves) as nontraditional students. This strategy has been effective to a certain extent (see, for instance, Hewitt and Seymour, 1991; Muller, 1991; and Wheeler, 1992). However, nearly all intervention strategies to date have been focused
on increasing the nontraditional student's skills at surviving the existing undergraduate educational system. They have rarely focused on changing the system itself.
Successful intervention programs provide considerable insight into the direction in which the overall system should move to provide a better educational experience for all students. First of all, as shown by recent studies and discussed during the 1991 conference, institutions must move forward in this process. For example, Matyas and Malcom (1991) note that intervention efforts must evolve from isolated intervention efforts to structural reform; from the commitment of individual program directors and involved faculty and administrators to an institution-wide commitment; and from isolated projects supported primarily by external funds or volunteer services to line-item budgets that support a variety of on-going activities (Figure 4-2).
During the conference, Paula Rayman of Wellesley College, a women's college, described the three institutional factors at Wellesley that create a "culture of success for women in the sciences" (Rayman, 1991). First, student-faculty partnerships are facilitated through small class size and opportunities for research experience. Second, students "see women being successful every day in all the sciences" since over 50 percent of the science faculty are women. Third, science is integrated into the liberal arts agenda: all students are required to take three science courses, one of which must be a laboratory course, in order to graduate.
Furthermore, in order to develop this positive attitude toward diversity, a number of institutional personnel must be involved. According to Theodore J. Crovello of California State University, Los Angeles, moving from isolated projects to a coordinated campus intervention effort involves a variety of campus personnel and activities as well as external contacts (Table 4-4). He attributes the success of their programs to the positive involvement of faculty.
Cal State—L.A. programs succeed in general because of a widespread conviction that is translated into action: that a capable faculty committed to providing underrepresented students with deep learning experiences in modern science and engineering as well as with caring academic counseling CAN [sic] help such students achieve confidence, academic excellence and success (Crovello, 1991).
It should be emphasized that this type of climate change involves the participation of both male and female faculty members acting in their roles as educators, researchers, advisers, mentors, administrators, and role models. If the burden of change lies only with women faculty, then the chances for systemwide change are limited.
TABLE 4-4: Components of a Campus-Wide Coordination of Intervention Efforts
Campus People & Components
Intervention program coordinator
Intervention program advisory council
Quality teaching and research
Successful grant proposals
Effective program administration
Effective communication within and among programs
Positive program visibility
Effective outreach on and off campus
Essential record-keeping within and among programs
SOURCE: Theodore J. Crovello, Programs That Work: The Cal-State Los Angeles Experience and a General Campus Model, paper presented at the National Research Council conference, "Science and Engineering Programs: On Target for Women?," Irvine, CA, November 4–5, 1991.
The second key point participants at the 1991 conference identified in the evolutionary process was a change in bow institutions view student persistence and attrition. Currently, many science and engineering departments in the United States utilize a "weeding" strategy—allowing and even encouraging students to withdraw from science and engineering studies by setting high "failure" levels. Institutions and departments must direct educational programs toward ''cultivation" of students rather than "weeding." This change in approach would prevent talented students from leaving science or engineering majors due to initial deficiencies in skills.
Thirdly, participants noted that many institutions that have traditionally hosted a number of isolated intervention programs are ready to take the next step toward coordination of those programs. Two examples are especially noteworthy. First, California State University, Los Angeles, has 15 successful science and engineering programs designed to create a total pipeline perspective that follows students from precollege through doctoral studies. Activities are coordinated through a Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (SEM) Council and SEM Coordinator. Similarly, the University of Puerto Rico established a Resource Center for Science and Engineering in 1980. This center focuses on a holistic approach to science education, working with disadvantaged students throughout the K-16 S&E pipeline. In 1989, the Center, along with the Commonwealth Department of Education and a number of two-year and four-year colleges and universities, established the Comprehensive Regional Center for Minorities (CRCM), whose objective is:
to expand science education and science and engineering research efforts throughout the entire island. Components of the CRCM programs include precollege and undergraduate initiatives. Subcomponents of the precollege components are intervention programs for tracking talented students in grades 7–12 to enriched academic programs; continuing education for precollege teachers; an institute for the development of master teachers; and school-based programs. The undergraduate component of CRCM includes student enrichment programs; undergraduate student education development; and faculty development
The final step in this evolutionary process—structural reform—has not been attained by any of the institutions represented at the 1991 conference, nor in any of the 276 institutions participating in the AAAS study:
Not found among any of the institutions was a model of structural reform where the structure of courses, pedagogical techniques, institutional climate, and system for recruitment and retention co-existed with a supportive administrative structure, that is, where the regular support of departments and programs provided mechanisms to support the achievement of all students committed to education in
science and engineering. Only by moving from ancillary activities aimed at helping students survive the current educational climate to changing the climate in which the students are educated can we ... significantly [affect] the participation of women, minorities, people with disabilities and, indeed, all students in science, mathematics, and engineering (Matyas and Malcom, 1991).
As discussed by conference participants, one catalyst for this reform may be the changing composition of the student body and faculty. As women and minorities begin to reach a ''critical mass" within departments, they will begin to have input into and influence on the reform process. As described later in this report by Linda Wilson (see page 169), this reform can occur incrementally and will benefit both women and men at the faculty and student levels.
Undergraduate Programs: On Target for Women?
As noted earlier, there are a number of models for different types of S&E programs. But one must examine them with two questions in mind. First, how frequently are these types of efforts found at U.S. colleges and universities, and how often are they targeted toward women? The AAAS study mentioned earlier found few programs directly targeting female undergraduate students. In fact, less than 10 percent of the over 300 programs identified were targeted at women while 51 percent of the programs were targeted at minority students.
Second, are the types of programs suited to the barriers women encounter in science and engineering studies and careers? in the AAAS study, the types of programs targeted at women were different in focus from those targeted at minority students (it is recognized that the recruitment and retention issues confronting women are not identical to those associated with minorities, although there are some over-riding issues; see, for instance, Rayman, 1991). While precollege efforts for minority students often focus on development of skills and experiences that can prepare them for further studies in science and/or engineering, the most common type of precollege program targeted at females was career fairs (N=5), followed by S&E summer programs (N=3). At the undergraduate level, engineering recruitment/retention programs were common program types for women
(N=5) as were S&E recruitment/retention programs (N=3) and student chapters of professional associations such as the Society of Women Engineers (N=3). There was only one identified effort targeted at women at the graduate level, an HCOP (Health Careers Opportunities Program). Three programs were identified as S&E faculty recruitment programs.1 Based on this survey of a sizeable sample of undergraduate S&E programs, Matyas and Malcom conclude that the overall number of programs targeted at women is low; and at the precollege, graduate, and faculty levels, effective models are not necessarily the most likely to be implemented.
In general, programs targeted at women were more likely than were those for minority students to charge fees of program participants and to rely heavily on the use of faculty volunteers. Programs targeted at women do not generally include many minority women. Programs for minority students generally do a good job of recruiting black women into their programs, but Hispanic and Native American women were less likely to be participants (Matyas and Malcom, 1991).
In recent years, the number of women enrolling in engineering studies has been decreasing nationwide, and the efforts to recruit and retain them are becoming more sparse; notable exceptions are those engineering schools that offer merit awards for women and/or support student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (Daniels, 1990). Data from a survey of women in engineering program directors indicated that the number and types of engineering program activities targeted toward women have significantly declined over the last decade (Daniels, 1990). With the exception of freshman scholarships and graduate fellowships, all types of program activities focused on the recruitment and retention of women in engineering declined nationally between 1982 and 1987. These activities included student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers, availability of recruitment brochures and information, programs for teachers and counselors, career conferences, summer programs, and junior high outreach activities (see Figure 4-3). This decline in program activities was paralleled or followed by a number of indicators suggesting that the absence of these activities may have affected the overall production of women engineers nationally:
Between 1975 and 1982, the percentage of freshman women planning
to major in engineering increased from a little over 1 percent to over 3 percent. However, after 1983, the percentage began a gradual decline (Vetter, 1989, p. 21).
The proportion of women selecting "engineer" as a probable career choice increased from 2.2 percent in 1978 to a maximum of 3.6 percent in 1982 but has been declining since (Vetter, 1989, p. 23).
The number of female freshmen enrolled in engineering peaked in 1982 and began to decline subsequently (AAES, 1989).
The number of bachelor's degrees awarded to women in engineering leveled off in 1985 and ultimately peaked in 1987 at a slightly higher plateau (NSB, 1991).
Although causality cannot be confirmed by these data, the decline in women's expressed interest, enrollment, and earned degrees in engineering does not precede the declines in program activities. Rather, these phenomena parallel each other. Therefore, the declines in program activities were not initially prompted by a lack of women to participate in them. Finally, the more recent data indicate that this "parallel" relationship is continuing. In the last few years, program activities for women in engineering have been increasing (Wadsworth, 1992) and, concomitantly, enrollments of freshman women in engineering increased slightly in fail 1990 and more in fall 1991 to reach a record high of 17.5 percent (Vetter, 1992). Therefore, it appears that, in order to catalyze progressive increases in the number of women in engineering, continued intervention is needed.
In summary, few undergraduate S&E programs are today directed at the recruitment and retention of women, and the most effectively targeted models are not necessarily the most likely to be employed. Although previous work has provided a number of excellent program models that include the components of successful interventions, few of these model programs are targeted specifically at women.
The conference discussions as well as a number of recent reports (see, for instance, Clewell and Anderson, 1991; George, 1991; and White House Task Force, 1989) suggest a number of future steps for increasing the participation of women in science and engineering at the undergraduate level:
Higher education institutions should carefully monitor student progress to assess where "losses" of S&E students, especially women and minorities, occur and then define specific goals and strategies for increasing the participation of women in science and engineering.
Specific funding should be provided for S&E intervention programs targeted at women, particularly minority women. Relatively few funding agencies and foundations have funds set aside to specifically target undergraduate women. These new programs could be similar to those now in place for minorities underrepresented in the sciences and engineering.
Comprehensive intervention models should be targeted toward women and implemented in diverse institutions, particularly in those fields where the number of female undergraduate students is small compared to that of their male peers. These models should draw from effective programs already in place.
The research base on interventions for women in science and engineering at the undergraduate level should be expanded by funding longitudinal evaluations of selected programs.
New models should be developed, evaluated, revised, and disseminated for involving faculty members in strategies to increase the participation of undergraduate women in science and engineering. Both male and female faculty members must be involved in these efforts, and their participation should be viewed positively in terms of promotion and tenure review.
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