WPI Named a Top University for Helping Women Succeed in STEM Fields

BestCollegesOnline.com Ranks the University 9th in the Nation
March 05, 2012

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A new ranking by BestCollegesOnline.com places Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 9th in the nation among schools that do the best job of helping women succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. "The 10 Best Colleges for Females in STEM Fields" cites WPI's advocacy and development programs for female students, as well as programs to get girls' interested in STEM fields from an early age.

"WPI is fast becoming one of the stand-out schools for women who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math," the BestCollegesOnline.com review says. "The school is bringing in female students in record numbers, with the highest enrollment of women in the school's 145-year history. Women will make up 34 percent of the class of 2014 at WPI, an increase of 83 percent over the past five years.

"What’s bringing them in? WPI offers female students support, advocacy and development programs from the moment they arrive on campus, and has also developed programs to get girls and teens interested in STEM careers at an early age."

According to WPI President and CEO Dennis Berkey, "WPI recognizes the value and importance of engaging women in the STEM disciplines, and we work diligently to create a culture that values collaboration, innovation, curiosity, and exploration – all of which supports their development and success. It is a point of immense pride for WPI that we have been able to attract so many outstanding female students and faculty through our pipeline, recruitment, and support programs, and we’re grateful to BestCollegesOnline.com for this recognition."

Upon their arrival on campus, women find support, advocacy, and development services through the WPI Office of Diversity and Women's Programs. President Berkey himself chairs the Institute's task force in support of women and minority faculty and staff. WPI created these programs because, akin to the vast majority of STEM-focused institutions nationwide, the numbers of enrolled women and underrepresented minorities on campus were disproportionately low.

Recognizing the importance of a diverse student population and the need to develop and nurture that diversity, WPI has dedicated staff to help facilitate academic, social, professional, and personal development programs that are specifically tailored to help those populations be successful and competitive in the STEM disciplines. In addition, the university is home to a nationally recognized K-12 pipeline program that also works to remedy the shortage of women and underrepresented minorities in the STEM disciplines by providing opportunities for middle and high school-aged children to have positive exposure to those areas of study.

The BestCollegesOnline.com ranking comes shortly after other reviews that cite WPI's high return on investment, number 1 part-time MBA program in the Northeast, and being among the "Best Colleges for 21st Century Einsteins." Read the full article here.