(RES) Assessing Women in Engineering Programs: Developing Exportable Tools for Success.

October 1st, 2001 - September 30th, 2006 | PROJECT

This project will develop standardized, exportable and comparable assessment instruments and models for Women In Engineering (WIE) programs nationwide, thus allowing them to assess their program's activities and ultimately provide data for making well-informed evaluations.

To accomplish this goal, the principal investigators at the University of Missouri and Penn State University will work over a three-year period with their institutions' WIE programs and three cooperating programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Tech, and University of Texas at Austin. With these five programs that collectively represent a variety of private and public, years of experience for WIE directors and student body characteristics, the investigators will pilot, revise, implement, conduct preliminary data analysis and disseminate easy-to-access, reliable and valid assessment instruments. The principles of formative evaluation will be applied to all instruments and products. All institutions will use the same set of instruments, thus allowing them to have access to powerful benchmarking data in addition to the data from each of their respective institutions.

A prior project, the Women's Experience in College Engineering Project (WECE) sought to characterize the factors that influence women students' experiences and decisions by studying college environments, events and support programs that affect women's satisfaction with their engineering major, and their decisions to persist or leave these majors. In contrast to WECE's macro-level and student focus, this proposal's target audience is WIE directors, with a focus on WIE programs, not students.

Women in Engineering programs around the United States are a crucial part of our country's response to the need for more women in engineering professions. There are about 50 WIE programs nationwide. Half have expressed interest in this effort. WIE directors will benefit by having ready-made assessment tools that will allow them to collect data on programs, evaluate these programs, and make decisions on how to revise programs and / or redistribute limited resources to maximize overall program effectiveness. Data from these instruments will also provide substantiated evidence for administrators, advisory boards and potential funding agencies. Finally, because these instruments will be available nationwide, programs will have the opportunity to take advantage of powerful benchmarking data for their decision-making processes.

This project provides the next logical step in the national movement to recruit and retain women in engineering.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

AWE Undergraduate STEM Mentor Participation Survey
Students Persisting in Engineering Survey
PDQ Survey
Pre-College Annual Self-Efficacy Survey
Pre-College Middle School Survey for Engineering
Students Leaving Engineering Survey
Literature Overview: Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Awareness for Classroom and Outreach Education

Team Members

Rose Marra, Principal Investigator, University of Missouri-Columbia
Barbara Bogue, Co-Principal Investigator


Funding Source: NSF
Award Number: 0120642
Funding Amount: $1,175,301


Access and Inclusion: Women and Girls
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals | Undergraduate | Graduate Students
Discipline: Engineering
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections