Women In Engineering Learning Community: What We Learned The First Year
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The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech reflects national trends with respect to women in engineering. With first year enrollments hovering around 17%, the retention through graduation of these women is critical to increasing the number of women in the engineering profession. When examining year to year retention rates, it is observed that the largest percentage of women drop out of engineering during or immediately following their first year. It is therefore believed that efforts to increase the first to second year retention rate would have the greatest impact on graduation rates. The Office of Minority Engineering Programs conducts mentoring and other programs for underrepresented students. Hypatia, a residentially based learning community, was created to help foster success for first year women in the College of Engineering and to complement existing programs.