Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Eunyoung Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Blissett, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Jean, Ed.D.


Women's Colleges, STEM, Student Engagement, NSSE, Women, Gender


Women’s colleges are currently struggling to remain solvent and germane to today’s higher education landscape. Despite the struggles, women’s colleges have provided inimitable, valuable, and engaging experiences for the students who enroll at these traditionally small, liberal arts focused institutions. As the small number of women entering STEM majors and, in turn, STEM fields continues to be an issue, women’s colleges may be able to provide an engaging, distinctive experience for women who choose to pursue these majors as compared to coeducational institutions. Women continue to be underrepresented minorities in many STEM majors including but not limited to: physics, math, statistics, engineering, and computer science. In many cases, instead of women making progress toward parity with males in these majors, they are actually regressing. This study explores the engagement experiences of female STEM students at women’s colleges and the experiences of male and female STEM students at coeducational institutions. Using the input-environment-outcome model as a theoretical perspective, specific consideration was given to how the type of institution a STEM student attends impacts the perception of the students’ interactions with the NSSE indicators of student-faculty interaction and supportive environment.