Study Discovers an Unexpected Source to Increase Women in STEM Majors

gaylesA new study led by Joy Gaston Gayles, an associate professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, finds that women who come to college not knowing what course of study they will choose are good candidates to increase overall enrollments of women students in STEM fields.

The research shows that women are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields among students who come to college knowing what field they want to study. But for women who are undecided on a major, the data shows that large numbers of these women choose to major in a STEM field by their junior year.

Dr. Gayles states that “since more women who are undecided on a major switch to the sciences in their third year of college, tapping into this group could help increase the numbers of women. We need to think creatively about ways to improve opportunities for women in the sciences from high school all the way through college.”

Dr. Gayles joined the faculty at North Carolina State University in 2007. She is a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, where she majored in kinesiology. She holds a master’s degree from Auburn University in Alabama and a doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio State University.

Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields


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