Understanding Women's Educational Experiences

Elizabeht Hansen Utah Valley University, Alexis Stallings Utah Valley University, Wendy Covington Utah Valley University, Alyssa Jensen Utah Valley University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Jessica Pauly Utah Valley University, Stevie Munz Utah Valley University
This study aims to interview and understand the experiences from 120 women who are currently or previously enrolled at a large public university in Utah. Institutional research suggests female students are failing to complete their degree at considerably higher rates when compared to their male classmates, and to women from neighboring universities. The purpose of this study is to better understand the experiences that may affect women’s educational path. This study uses a ground theory approach to uncover contributing factors that are leading to attrition from the university. Through a mixed-methods approach, in-depth interviews, a “6-Word-Memoir,” and quantitative survey data, preliminary analysis suggests gender role expectations, religious cultural influences, and university resources are prominent themes. While these themes reveal the impact on women’s lives, they also influence their attitudes towards higher education, feelings of connectedness or belonging to the university community as well as outlook on career possibilities. Through better understanding these experiences, we can inform the university’s programs of the issues revealed by the female students and address them in an effort to increase female student retention.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:45 AM
Jordan Hall 174