Edmonds Community College in collaboration with ATE Centers and projects, is researching, assessing, identifying, compiling, and disseminating effective recruitment strategies used in program design to increase the recruitment of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and fields. The goal is to promote long-term, fundamental changes in the recruitment of females into educational programs that prepare them to enter STEM careers. Using the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) as a basis of a theoretical model, this extensive 3-year research project draws on literature reviews and other projects in gender research.
The intellectual merit of the proposal is that it is informed by rigorous research, the outcome of which is a constellation of pragmatic practices for recruitment of females into educational programs that prepare them to enter STEM careers. The project advances understandings of the knowledge base on social cognitive career theory as a model for understanding women's academic and career choices; has the potential to broaden participation of underrepresented students in STEM careers; and enhances the infrastructure for research in the field.
The aim to broaden female participation in the workforce is beneficial to society as a whole because it diversifies and strengthens the workforce. Therefore, it is advantageous for ATE programs to address gender equity in recruiting practices, eliminate information gaps, and dispel negative perceptions and inaccurate stereotypes. Project outcomes and deliverables stress implementation of recruitment strategies in real and pragmatic ways. The findings of this project will be significant for educational programs and industries across the United States.