Study: Female STEM majors most likely to drop out
- Preliminary data from an ongoing University of Missouri study shows dropout rates in STEM fields vary most by gender, with little variance in the rates among racial groups.
- Female participation in STEM careers rose just 5% between 1993-2010, according to the National Science Foundation.
- Experts say role models and building confidence are major factors in helping to increase the numbers of women in the STEM fields.
Colleges and universities should look for strategies to make sure participation of women and girls remains high in STEM engagement, and sometimes, to the reduced role of diversity initiatives in order to account for limits in initial interest and exposure.
But the strategy is not limited to student recruitment or community engagement; comprehensive inclusion efforts mean college and academic leaders must seek ways to bolster faculty appointments in STEM disciplines, to engage female students in grant making and funded research opportunities, and to market advanced degree programs specifically to women in campus communities.
- The Press Enterprise Why do women lead STEM dropouts?