University Faculty Mentors Science Students Online

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Volunteering takes many forms these days. Some prominent universities – MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, among them — recruited faculty volunteers for six-weeks of mentoring students online.

The program has no curriculum, no exam, no grades and no credit; it connects students with accomplished women in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – hoping to answer questions, raise the career aspirations of the students, talk about job prospects and discuss how such work will relate to having a family.

Although women earn more degrees than men, they’re not in STEM fields, particularly in engineering and computer science. Program sponsor Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, thinks of it as a MOOC – massive open online course – now called Women in Technology Sharing Online or WitsOn.

Undergraduates at other colleges can participate by getting a faculty member to nominate them.

Read more in The New York Times about this cost-free model for replication.

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