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A WiSE Approach: How Service-Learning Influences First-Year Women in STEM

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This study examined the experiences of first-semester college women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields participating in a leadership service-learning course. The participants were first-year students in the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program at a large, public, four-year midwestern institution. We used the leadership identity development (LID) model (Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2005) as a qualitative framework to examine how service-learning influenced student leadership identity development in the first semester of college. Key findings include the influence of individual and group on solidifying participant leadership identity development, thus increasing their persistence in male-dominated STEM fields. The authors offer recommendations for establishing a collaborative leadership curriculum to support the retention of women in STEM fields.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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