AC 2011-851: Impact of an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant at a STEM-Dominant University
Hall, Molly R.
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The National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program was established to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Virginia Tech has used its ADVANCE funding to take a comprehensive approach to institutional transformation, incorporating activities to increase the pipeline of women preparing for academic science and engineering careers, improve recruitment and retention of women, develop women leaders, update work-life policies, and warm department climate. Prior to the conclusion of the grant, the university reviewed all activities for impact and potential sustainability. Assessment activities included tracking numbers of women at various levels across the university, individual activity evaluations, campus-wide faculty surveys, tracking of policy utilization, interviews, and focus groups. Such a mixed-methods approach combines quantitative and qualitative indicators of change and provides deeper insight into the impact of interventions on the experiences of women faculty. This paper uses feedback on the impact of ADVANCE program activities from focus groups of female engineering professors and quantitative data from faculty surveys to explore perceptions of climate and worklife balance in the college of engineering.