FYE Program for Female Students in STEM Majors


This conference has been very crowded so they rightfully used chairs in rows instead of tables in most rooms. But, on this final morning attendance is down so thankfully I can turn a chair around and use it as a desk. Well, no one else is, but I am tired of using my phone to summarize.

Regarding yesterday’s open resource session: it might be interesting to add a Z for zero cost to the sections in Webadvisor that use open resources only. This kind of peer pressure would probably drive some of my colleagues crazy. But, I know I could explain to students if I supported a proprietary software, or book over the free one. And if I couldn’t, well maybe I should be looking at open resources for an upcoming semester.

This particular session interested me because I have three daughters in STEM fields and they have definite opinions about how to STEM support and not be condescending and hence counterproductive when giving the support.

The intro started with a definition of STEM and the benefits of a postsecondary degree. It did go quickly, however. Sam Houston has 2/3 more women students then men students. However they award the same number of STEM degrees to men as women. This motivated their intervention.

Five factors best predicted success for women in STEM (p<.05):

  • Top 25% of class (not top 10) 35% 6-year graduation
  • 2nd year on campus 35%
  • Financial Aid 34%
  • No ethnicity differences that were significant <– Not sure why a factor if not a factor
  • <– There were only 4?

Typical grad rates are 30%. 20-25% were typical for other categories (off campus living, bottom 3/4 of high school class. . .)

Interventions: Increase financial aid, especially to recruit the top 10% of high school classes, encourage on-campus living and create on campus events.

Next steps: Learning communities including living together, new class: personal and academic survival tools,, orientation to resources- free, not required, non-credit

A lot of what they are doing is much more relevant to 4-year schools.



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