Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development


Sandra L. Caron

Second Committee Member

Sharon Barker

Third Committee Member

Michael L. Peterson


The purpose of the study was to explore experiences of female undergraduates in the College of Engineering at the University of Maine with an eye toward attrition and retention issues. A total of 152 engineering students were included in this study (n=93 women; n=59 men). Specifically, this study investigated what differences and similarities exist between male and female engineering majors in terms of: family background, choosing to major in engineering, high school academic performance, college academic performance, use of college academic services, perception of support, participation in outside activities, perception of their academic ability and experience, and perception of impact of their gender. These findings offer some insight into what might be helpful in the recruitment of female students to major in engineering and provides a basis for understanding retention issues for females in the engineering program.