Research

Housed in the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW), WISE prides itself on not only utilizing research to inform our programming, but also engaging in research and evaluation projects that help build knowledge around the barriers women and girls face and effective ways to support diversity and inclusion efforts.  Please find below information on some of our recent research and evaluation projects.  For information on working with WISE, contact Jill at JillMWilliams@arizona.edu.

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An Intersectional Analysis of STEM Student Outcomes

Drawing on earlier analysis of female students in particular, this report takes an intersectional approach to understanding STEM student outcomes at the University of Arizona. Drawing on over 40,000 student records from between 2014-2020, we analyzed entry, persistence, and graduation trends among female, under-represented minority, first generation college going, and Pell eligible students at the institutional, college, and departmental scales. The results demonstrat staistically significant disparities in some STEM student outcomes across teh instersectional groups and offer a more fine-tuned analysis of these demographic factors shape the liklihood that students will enter, persist, or succeed in STEM at the University of Arizona. This report provides data and insights critical to informing institutional policies and practicies focused on addressing disparities in STEM student outcomes at various scales. This report was made possible with funding from the UA Office of Societal Impacts and Technology and Research Initiative Fund.

Read the full report HERE.

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COVID-Related Impacts on STEM Students

While early research indicates that students overall are experiencing negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the unique characteristics of STEM fields raise important questions regarding how STEM students in particular are being impacted.  In May 2020, researchers with WISE and SIROW (the Southwest Institute for Research on Women) carried out a survey of over 500 University of Arizona STEM students to examine COVID-impacts on academic experiences and progress; STEM persistence; and STEM related career and professional development. Follow the links below to access reports on our findings, as well as slides that summarize associated policy recommendations.

COVID-Impacts on Undergraduate STEM Students Survey Report

COVID-Impacts on STEM Graduate Students Survey Report 

Slides from July 2020 Webinar: Findings and Policy Recommendations

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The Status of Women in STEM at the University of Arizona

While individual colleges and departments often track (in formal and informal ways) demographic trends among their students, there is yet to be a cross-institutional analysis of women’s entry, persistence, and success across STEM fields at UA.  This report fills this knowledge gap by providing an overview of enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates of women students in comparison to their men counterparts across STEM colleges and departments.  Specifically, this report focuses on the four main UA colleges where students pursue undergraduate STEM degrees: Agriculture and Life Sciences; Engineering; Optical Sciences; and Science.  Due to the limitations of existing data sets, this report focuses on the undergraduate student population.  This report was made possible with funding from the University of Arizona Office of the Provost. Click HERE to read the full report. 

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Asset Mapping for Equity in STEM

Diving into Task Assignment Bias is an educational innovation and evaluation project funded by the Engineering Information Foundation. This project aims to foster equity in group-based STEM educational environments by providing educators with a set of tools and procedures they can implement with students in order to foster equity-mindedness and reduce task assignment bias. Through this project, we have developed and impelmented trainings relevant for 5-12 grade STEM educators on asset-mapping and related tools. We then follow a subset of educators throughout their experience implementing these strategies with their students. This project is based on a highly successful model developed and implemented at Worcester Polytechnic Institute by Lisa Stoddard and Geoff Pfeifer.