Women make up 12 percent of enrolled engineering undergraduates

Mar. 28, 2016

Halle Thornton
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At the SGA candidate debate, Victoria Crowley, a candidate for senator of engineering this spring, expressed that there is a lack of female representation in the engineering department at UCCS.

Crowley, a freshman mechanical engineering major, was one of three candidates for the SGA position and the only female.

According to director of Institutional Research Robyn Marschke, in fall 2015, 160 out of 1,302 undergraduate students (12 percent) enrolled in the College of Engineering and Applied Science were female. In the graduate programs, 59 of 286 students (21 percent) that enrolled were women.

In fall 2015, women constituted 4,951 of 9,598 undergraduates at UCCS, 52 percent of the school. Women were 54 percent of graduate students last fall (850 of 1,553).

The percentage of women in science majors, according to engineering academic advisor Claire Ami, is due to females not being encouraged to pursue careers in math and science through elementary, middle and high school.

Women pursuing an engineering degree typically have a higher GPA, according to Ami.

Ami calculated that this spring, out of the students in EAS, females have an average GPA of 3.13 and males an average GPA on 3.02.

“That’s roughly 10 percent of the engineering population being women and performing slightly better,” she said. “I don’t think persistence or performing better is the reason for more men than women in the field.”

There are scholarship opportunities for women in engineering, according to Ami. The Women in Aerospace Foundation provides scholarships to women interested in a career in the aerospace field to pursue higher education degrees in engineering, math or science.

There is also a scholarship offered by The Society of Women Engineers. The Pikes Peak Section awards scholarships to women from southern Colorado interested in pursuing a career in the engineering field.

Women who aspire to become engineers can also become involved on campus.

The Society of Women Engineers club is a support network and professional society for existing and potential engineers.

The society is open to all engineering students and meets on Mondays from 5-7 p.m. in Osborne Center A327.