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ERIC Number: ED578144
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3552-1445-1
Understanding the Experience of Women in Undergraduate Engineering Programs at Public Universities
Perez, Jessica Ohanian
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
Women earn bachelor's degrees in engineering at a rate of less than 17% at public universities in California. The purpose of this study was to understand how women experience undergraduate engineering programs at public universities. To understand this lack of attainment, a qualitative methodology and Feminist Poststructuralist perspective were employed. The data of the study was gathered from interviews with 22 women in various stages of their engineering education and discourse analysis in various sections of engineering gatekeeper courses. The following questions were examined: How do women experience undergraduate engineering programs at public universities? What role does classroom discourse play in shaping women's experience in "gatekeeper" courses? To what extent does the intersectionality of (a) transfer status (b) first generation college status and (c) race/ethnicity and gender impact this experience? The experience of the women is a journey of a cultural migrant; they leave one culture for anther. The women are negotiating comparative norming, defining one's success in reference to another's; and are motivated by outcome expectancy, the promise of a secure future. When transfer students are examined the women experienced a mismatch of expectations but find value in the struggle and appreciated the gradual transition. First generation women indicate feeling isolation and independence; they find value in future employment in a public agency; and experience projective comparative norming, the assignment of social capital to their peers and using that as a basis for comparison. Finally, Asian/Pacific-Islander women felt an expectation of the social capital they possessed in the field. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California