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ERIC Number: ED560352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-5926-2
Recruitment Strategies Aiming to Attract Females into Undergraduate Engineering Programs: Examining Their Role and Use
Howenstine, Julie Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Toledo
By 2009, the percentage of women who graduated with general undergraduate degrees had increased to almost 58% of all students who completed 4-year degree programs (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009a). These percentages, however, have not been reflected in the enrollment rates of females into undergraduate engineering programs. In 2009, the percentage of females enrolled in undergraduate engineering degrees was only 13% (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009b). Education is a lifelong decision and individuals are becoming more psychologically involved in their college choice (Maringe & Gibbs, 2009). Recruitment activities are only one factor in the college choice decision but are an important one. Recruitment strategies to attract under-represented groups to the field of engineering had in general lacked success. Recruitment is a way to represent and promote a college or a university truthfully to those who are seeking information about it (National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2009). Recruiting consists of initiatives and materials which serve to persuade prospective students to enroll in schools and specific degree programs. Understanding the specific types of recruitment strategies created for women and the way recruitment impacts enrollment trends of women will help institutions become more effective at attracting female students into engineering programs. While research on recruitment has identified some recruitment strategies effective in attracting women to engineering, such as mentoring to prospective students (Ocif & Marshall-Goodell, 1996; Wilkins et al., 2006), marketing learning and living communities (Jaschik, 2010; Kuh et al., 2006; Stinson, 1990; Trenor, 2007; Washington Center website, 2011), as well as offering female-focused financial aid programs (Astin 1997; Cech et al., 2008) to prospective students, we still do not fully understand the whole array of recruitment strategies geared towards women. This study explored, for the first time, the array of recruitment strategies used by institutions to recruit women into undergraduate engineering degree programs. Its purpose was to map what institutions do to recruit women into undergraduate engineering programs, and shed light on why and how these institutions use the recruitment strategies they use. In addition this study aimed to analyze a potential relationship of strategies geared specifically for women with enrollment trends of female undergraduates in engineering programs. Although the study identified a host of traditional and specialized recruitment strategies geared for women, it also confirmed that many institutions have not yet initiated activities to recruit women to their engineering programs. Amongst those women-specific recruitment initiatives that the study identified, mentoring programs, female-focused financial aid, and female campus visits emerged as the prevalent ones. In addition, institutions often included female students and faculty as recruiters and role models, emphasized the need to build relationships with university representatives and the institution in general, and utilized existing programs designed for women as part of their recruitment message. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A