participated in the mentoring program had decided to change the subject of study or to discontinue. And
270 of the students in the mentoring
program enrolled voluntarily in an additional program for the second term.
TRANSFER AND OU TLOOK
The objective of IGaDtools4MIIN T was
the development of a transferable concept, which contributes to lower drop-out rates in computer science, and to
make computer science a more attractive subject to study for women and
multifaceted students in general.
For this project, numerous examinations were conducted, on which
measures were developed, tested, and
realized. For example, a comparative
interview survey of computer science
freshmen at RWTH Aachen University
was executed. Furthermore, the status quo at the RWTH Aachen University was further determined by status
group interviews with employees and
students and a large-scale analysis of
documents. From this status quo investigation, the potential for improvements and recommendations for actions can be derived.
The identified measures and approaches for action should not be limited to universities in order to influence the culture of computer science.
It is also important to rectify the often incorrect, monotonous picture of
computer science existing in society—
including the persisting image of predominately male hackers and nerds—
unavoidable dropout of studies.
3. Further-reaching help if studies
are not continued.
The mentoring program is coordinated by three permanent employees,
who are supported by a large number
of tutors, who are trained prior to their
tasks. The students meet their tutors
in small groups of 10-15 participants.
During the meetings organizational
topics are discussed, as well as learner
trainings, exam preparations, or faculty presentations. The program is compulsory for freshmen and a prerequisite for an obligatory lecture. Students
who do not reach a sufficient number
of credit-points during the first term
have to participate in an additional
program during the second term. The
tutors remain in contact throughout
this time and answer questions as well
as help with issues students may have.
The subsequent evaluation showed the
participants (150 students) gave their
tutors high rating. The entire program
was also considered very positive: 69. 6
percent of the students gave one of the
two best marks; 89.3 percent gave one
of the three best marks. With the help
of this program, 78.3 percent of the
students felt encouraged to continue
their studies (indicating 1 or 2 on a
scale from 1 = “encouraged” to 6 = “
After the first execution of the men-
toring program it has been shown at
least two thirds of the students have
successfully mastered their first term
[ 4]. Only 27 of the 329 students who
by means of communicating the broad
range and real contents of computer
science and connected fields as well
as employment sectors under gender-
and diversity-sensitive conditions.
[ 1] Statistisches Bundesamt. Bildung und Kultur.
Studierende an Hochschulen. Fachserie 11 Reihe
4. 1, Wiesbaden, 2013.
[ 2] Kompetenzzentrum. http://www.kompetenzz.de/
[ 3] Margolis, J. and Fisher, A. Unlocking the
Clubhouse: Wwomen in computing. MI T Press,
[ 4] Nagl, M., Akbari, M., Leonhardt, T., Frickenschmidt,
M., and Schalthöfer S. Mentoring in der
Studieneingangsphase - Erfahrungen aus der
Informatik der R W TH Aachen. 2012. http://www.
Tobias Berg studied English literature, sociology, and
linguistics at R W TH Aachen University. Since January
2012, he has been a research associate in the Gender and
Diversity in Engineering (GDE) research group at R W TH
Aachen University. His main fields of work are applied
gender and diversity research in S TEM subjects, migration
research, and educational research.
Rebecca Apel studied communication science, political
science, and psychology at RW TH Aachen University.
From 2012 to 2014, she was a research associate at
the research group Gender and Diversity in Engineering
at RW TH Aachen University where she worked on the
IGaDtools4MIN T project.
Carmen Leicht-Scholten studied political science,
sociology, and romance studies in Germany and Spain. She
received her doctorate from the Department of Political
Science at Hamburg University. Since November 2007,
Prof. Leicht-Scholten participated in the development
of the Institutional Strategy of R W TH in the frame work
of the German Excellence Initiative in 2007. In 2012, she
was assigned the professorship “Gender and Diversity in
Engineering” at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at R W TH
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