Engineering Education at Smith College

Posted on February 16, 2008  Comments (2)

How to Re-engineer an engineering major at a women’s college:

The first women’s college to offer an engineering degree, Smith is forging new paths in a field that’s eager to swell its ranks in the United States. Women receive only 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, according to a new report by the National Science Board (NSB). Like a handful of other liberal arts colleges, Smith is producing graduates who’ve had a different type of engineering education – one that goes beyond technical training to focus on a broader context for finding solutions to humanity’s problems; one that emphasizes ethics and communication; one so flexible that about half the students study abroad, which is rare, despite the multinational nature of many engineering jobs.

Smith’s program boasts a 90 percent retention rate and high participation of underrepresented minorities. Ms. Moriarty hopes to find out which elements of the experience at Smith most contribute to students’ success. Female role models play a part (6 out of 10 engineering faculty here are women), but she says other factors are likely to be more important: “I think the methods being used here could probably translate very easily to other institutions that aren’t all women,” she says.

Related: Smith’s engineering education effortsEngineering Education Study DebateA New Engineering EducationThe Future is Engineering

2 Responses to “Engineering Education at Smith College”

  1. CuriousCat: Women for Science
    May 26th, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

    “Realizing that the low representation of women in science and engineering is a major hindrance to global capacity building in science and technology, the IAC formed an Advisory Panel on Women for science with the mandate to review previous studies…”

  2. Women Choosing Other Fields Over Engineering and Math » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    September 23rd, 2014 @ 1:28 am

    An import factor, to me anyway, is that women are now graduating from college in far higher numbers than men. And in many science fields female baccalaureate graduates outnumber male graduates…

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