Friday @ the Center
February 13, 2009
He Said, She Said, Part 2
More findings and—new, this week—recommendations from Linda Sax, The Gender Gap in College: Maximizing the Development Potential of Women and Men (2008), concerning longitudinal research from UCLA’s Cooperative Institution Research Program (CIRP):
1) Female Faculty: As has often been claimed, attending institutions with more female professors strengthens female students’ scholarly confidence, motivation, and GPA, but the presence of female professors brings an even broader range of benefits to male students, including gains in mathematical confidence, scientific orientation, leadership ability, and emotional well-being. Sax recommends, “An obvious implication of these finds would be for colleges to hire more female faculty members.”
2) Academic Engagement: Male students tend to be less academically engaged than women, but academic engagement has a stronger impact on them. The time men spend studying has a greater impact on their grades, academic confidence, critical-thinking skills, and motivation to achieve. Studying is effective for women, but it seems to make more of a difference for men. Sax advises, “Clearly, colleges need to consider strategies for encouraging greater academic engagement among male students [including] learning communities, first-year seminars, writing-intensive courses, student-faculty research, study abroad, internships, and capstone seminars.”
3) Diversity Programs: Diversity on campus, both inside and outside the classroom, is “more liberalizing, motivating, and eye-opening” for men than women, yet also includes greater feelings of discomfort. Growth hurts. Sax claims, “Campuses should provide the appropriate resources for such students—following up with them . . . after their participation in diversity programming to gauge whether they may need counseling or other support.”
SPU undergraduates register for next quarter from Feb. 23-26, so faculty should try to make extra time available over the next week to meet with their advisees. We want students prepared to register on time! It’s helpful to ask students to look at the offerings for next quarter, their record of courses, and the GE and major requirements BEFORE they see you, so that they come prepared with a list of courses that they think they might want to take, along with any specific questions they might have. During your advising session, do take the time to check in on how they feel the quarter is going both personally as well as academically. And this is also a great time to plant seeds in outstanding first-year and sophomore students about future options such as graduate school, Fulbrights, Rhodes, Goldwater, etc.
UW Undergraduate Research Symposium
Applications from SPU undergraduates to participate in the Twelfth Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 15, 2009, are due by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the CSFD office. Each undergraduate department at SPU may nominate one student or team to be considered for the ten spots we have been given. Check with your department chair to find out how your department is handling this. The Symposium includes projects from all disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary discourse. In 2008, over 650 undergraduates participated in the Symposium, with over 3500 people attending. Project presentations can be either in a poster or oral session. Further information about the Symposium is available [here] I know that many departments are including more undergraduate research in their programs, and this symposium provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to present their work to a larger audience.