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ERIC Number: ED517608
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 149
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-2305-2
Women Engineers: Stories of Persistence
Kuzmak, Nancy
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
More engineers are needed to support the infrastructure of the United States and to solve economic, human, and environmental problems. Women have been cited as the untapped resource who can provide new perspectives, solutions, and diversity. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, colleges have not learned how to graduate more women, keeping engineering as a male-dominated field. Despite barriers, some women have graduated. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions and perseverance of women that overcame these obstacles and were at the cusp of graduation, undergraduate seniors within one or two semesters of graduation, had recently graduated from the university with a bachelor's degree, or were studying engineering at the master's level. Therefore, this study applied a Duquesne approach to arrive at a deeper understanding of this phenomenon so that findings can help recruit and retain more female students in engineering. This study used Vincent Tinto's (1994) model of student retention as its main theoretical framework. Tinto believed that there were pre-entry attributes and institutional experiences that affected a student's retention in college. In engineering, a woman experiences college as a minority who is unable to set standards; she also experiences a higher level of bias, which restricts her involvement and threatens her ability to persevere. Six female engineers from a small rural university participated in this study, which involved a 24-question interview that was supported by researcher-designed instruments, the Pre-College Math Course Inventory, the Pre-College Science Course Inventory, the Extracurricular Activities Inventory, and the Family Background Questionnaire. The purpose was to answer 3 research questions: (a) what role did pre-entry attributes play in the women's persistence in engineering, (b) what role did academic system influences play in women's persistence in engineering, and (c) what role did social influences play in women's persistence in engineering. Themes and subthemes were found to help answer these questions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States