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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

A WiSE Approach: How Service-Learning Influences First-Year Women in STEM

Author(s): Manning-Oullette, A., Friesen, K., & Parrott, A.

Citation: Manning-Oullette, A., Friesen, K., & Parrott, A. (2018). A WiSE Approach: How Service-Learning Influences First-Year Women in STEM. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 30(2), 97-113.



This study examined the experiences of first-semester college women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields participating in a leadership service-learning course. The participants were first-year students in the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program at a large, public, four-year midwestern institution. We used the leadership identity development (LID) model (Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2005) as a qualitative framework to examine how service-learning influenced student leadership identity development in the first semester of college. Key findings include the influence of individual and group on solidifying participant leadership identity development, thus increasing their persistence in male-dominated STEM fields. The authors offer recommendations for establishing a collaborative leadership curriculum to support the retention of women in STEM fields.


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