Review the Theory and Evidence.
Recommendations and Strategies
- Conduct nontraditional student support groups and peer counseling: A group of studies found the following retention strategies to be effective: (1) access to nontraditional student clubs and team support systems and (2) participation in math clubs, competitions, and after-school programs.
- Provide orientation programs, especially for older students: Orientation programs should include information about course expectations and the amount of out-of-class time and personal energy required for satisfactory completion. These programs should be tailored to the life situation of the audience and should be offered prior to and in the initial stressful stages of enrollment and semester beginning.
- Facilitate informal support groups: Women need continued support and encouragement to stay in the science and engineering pipeline. Support groups may be “helpful in addressing the problems of young women” who are enrolled in courses leading to nontraditional careers.”
- Support groups: When nontraditional participants enroll individually, they are less likely to integrate effectively into the social structure, more likely to suffer decreased performance, and more likely to drop out. Change is carried in cohorts, not in single individuals.
Effective Practices and Resources
- The Boston Museum of Science’s Computer Clubhouse provides a creative and safe after-school learning environment where young people from under-served communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.
- Men in Childcare provides supportive services for men teaching young children.
- The Assembly for Men in Nursing provides a framework for nurses to meet, discuss, and influence factors that affect men as nurses.
Please note that author/date callouts to references and full references can be found in the print version, Nontraditional Career Preparation: Root Causes & Strategies.