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50 PCB007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2022 e burgeoning job market means our com- munities will need to recruit talent for years to come. Many companies view this as a chal- lenge and have expressed concern that not enough students are graduating with engineer- ing degrees. However, colleges and universi- ties are seeing breakthroughs in their perva- sive low retention rates as they create diverse environments where students can flourish. Installing similar programs within the engi- neering industry itself will prove vital to indus- try growth. Engineering is one of the most difficult undergraduate degrees to pursue, but the dif- ficulty heightens as workplace culture some- times becomes a barrier for students. Accord- ing to the American Society for Engineer- ing Education, undergraduates pursuing edu- cation in engineering disciplines are at high risk for dropout, with an average rate of 40 to 50% 1 . Causes for this dropout have been linked to poor social environments, the inability to keep up with workload, and students who doubt their engineering skill set. For minor- ity groups and women, the Harvard Business Review 2 states that there seems to be "greater isolation from supportive networks," due to a "hegemonic masculine culture." is had led to roughly 40% of women leaving their degree behind. In addition, many students, especially when they are just starting their undergraduate degrees, begin to doubt their intelligence, and feel they will be unable to perform the work of an engineer despite their rigorous coursework. ey feel like they don't belong in a career where they aren't comfortable. If students can feel a sense of belonging, they will thrive, so if Retaining Engineers in the Workplace The New Chapter by Hannah Nelson, VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY/IPC STUDENT DIRECTOR Left: Hannah Nelson (holding antenna) works with her senior design team in a "doing" project. Right: The team continues to explore technical subjects in engineering.

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