n Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences - Inspiring female student engineers to pursue industrial engineering healthcare opportunities : an evaluation using the model for collaborative evaluations

Volume 10 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2141-7016
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Female students are vastly underrepresented in university engineering programs. According to the National Science Foundation, only 5.8% of the incoming freshmen female students intended to become engineers. The field of healthcare is rapidly growing, and there is a great need for industrial engineers to provide efficiency in the delivery of healthcare services. These two issues were the motivation for the efforts of industrial engineering professors to inspire their students, particularly female students, to enter the healthcare sector of industrial engineering. Two of these efforts included creating a new course in health-care related industrial engineering and modifying two existing courses that incorporated health care engineering case studies. The Model for Collaborative Evaluations (MCE) was successfully used to help guide the implementation of the interventions (the formative evaluative component) as it ensured the objectives of the grant were kept on track. The MCE also allowed judgment of the value and worth of the project at its conclusion (the summative evaluative component). Quantitative and qualitative data provided support that the curriculum of the new Healthcare Systems Engineering course increased interest in healthcare engineering and the likelihood of female engineering students to pursue a job or internship in the field. Positive results were seen for male students as well. The professors’ goals to promote interest in healthcare systems engineering, to inspire female engineering students to consider this field, and to motivate all students to finish their programs of study were aptly met. The success of the project as identified via the MCE can serve as an example for other engineering education programs to emulate.

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