VISTAS Counseling College Students

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Counselors - Partners in the Recruitment-Retention of Female Mechanical Engineering Students

Janet G. Froeschle, Emily Hunt, Mark Riney, and Heather Froeschle


The overall number of females entering engineering programs remains relatively low. This is particularly true when discussing the percentage of female mechanical engineering students currently enrolled in university programs. If this percentage of female mechanical engineering graduates is to increase, school, college, and career counselors must assess existing differences between male and female students and systematically target female characteristics related to program recruitment and retention while partnering to change the engineering environment. This study compared male and female mechanical engineering students’ self-reported levels of depression, anxiety, professor and peer influence, perceptions regarding the applicability of engineering projects for each gender, perceptions of the correlation between engineering projects and current skill levels, and need for social connectedness/empathy. Stratified random selection was used to select comparative male and female groups from within two Texas universities’ mechanical engineering programs. Significance was found in the Ideas and Research You Can Use: VISTAS 2013 2 areas of depression, anxiety, professor and peer influence, and social connectedness. Correlations between anxiety, depression, and professor and peer influence were noted. Implications for assisting female engineering students in school, college, and career counseling settings as well as overcoming gender inequity in recruitment and retention are discussed.

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