Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition








Attracting Women to Engineering through Service Based Learning Georgia Southern University’s Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Management (CECM) has developed a program that utilizes a service-learning based curriculum as a vehicle to attract and retain young women to engineering fields. In 2012, women made up less than 20%of the undergraduate population of the CECM department at Georgia Southern University. In response, the department has launched an initiative to motivate young women to choose engineering as a career path. The goal of the program is to attract women by creating sustainable service-learning based curriculum that is mutually beneficial to the community which it serves, and the students of the program, who gain experience through service-based real world applications. The paper gives a comprehensive review of literature that provided a foundation for the development of this program, and discusses the effectiveness of past service-based initiatives focused on attracting women to fields of study. The study also presents an overview of how selected core courses in the Civil Engineering & Construction Management program were adapted to include experiential service facets and service projects were developed with the collaboration of Habitat for Humanity in Statesboro, GA. The methodology for measuring the effectiveness of the program is discussed, and statistics of recruiting and retention statistics young women entering the CECM program following the program launch are presented. In conclusion, the paper analyzes survey results aimed at assessing the response of female college-ready high school seniors to the program rebrand.


ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education.

This paper was retrieved from the America Society for Engineering Education.