2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Femineer™: An Innovative and Engaging Program to Empower K-12 Female Students

Presented at Track: Pre-college - Technical Session 7

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) College of Engineering Femineer™ Program is a unique and innovative program devoted to inspiring and empowering K-12 female students to pursue STEM majors and careers. Created in 2013, the Femineer™ Program enhances the College of Engineering’s commitment to support underserved populations by recruiting and graduating increased numbers of historically underrepresented students.

The Femineer™ Program was piloted in 2013 with 24 female freshman and sophomore high school students at Fremont Academy of Engineering and Design in Pomona, California. One hundred percent of students completed the three-year Femineer™ Program curriculum. Twenty-two students went on to two- or four-year colleges/universities to study in STEM related fields. Six of those students are at Cal Poly Pomona and four are studying engineering. These results are impressive for one small pilot cohort.

After the pilot study concluded at Fremont Academy, nine local schools implemented the Femineer™ Program in the 2015-2016 school year. Fourteen additional schools, with one school in Kansas, joined the program in the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, San Diego State University and the University of Iowa signed on as affiliate universities. In the 2017-2018 school year, 18 new schools, with two schools in Iowa, joined the Femineer™ Program. With a total of 41 schools and 110 teachers currently implementing the Femineer™ Program, there are around 800 K-12 students participating in the program.

The Femineer™ Program was recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for increasing educational outcomes and opportunities for female Hispanic K-12 students across the country. The program was commended for its focus and goals which include mentoring opportunities for Hispanic K-12 students in STEM subjects, and investing in support for teachers through professional development workshops. In addition, the Femineer™ Program was publicized by US News and World Report.

Authors
  1. Dr. Kristina Rigden Orcid 16x16http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1974-4734 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona [biography]
  2. Dr. Mariappan Jawaharlal California State Polytechnic University, Pomona [biography]
  3. Nicole Gutzke California State Polytechnic University, Pomona [biography]
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