`Thinking inside of the box:' Retention of women in engineering

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This paper describes a current effort at Penn State Altoona to address the issue of low retention of women in science and engineering. This effort also is designed to contribute to the long-term advancement of women in these fields throughout their careers. The approach taken is to challenge women students to recognize their beliefs and self-perceptions regarding their relationship with engineering and thus provide them with the opportunity for positive change. As a consequence, their actions have potential to change stereotypical attitudes towards women in the sciences. The particular method we chose to accomplish these goals is to design and teach a course to educate women in the area of computer problem diagnosis and repair. The course includes diagnosing and troubleshooting software and hardware problems, and upgrading and maintaining the systems as well as an introduction to component functionality and integration. Demonstration of the proficiency attained by the women in computer technology distinguishes them among colleagues. This distinction results from the well-recognized prestige associated with this level of knowledge of computer technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F2F-13-F2F-16
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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