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Wising ­p on STEM Completion

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Arizona State University researchers recently unveiled CareerWISE, a website designed to increase the retention of women pursuing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by addressing the various challenges they face. "We aim to reduce these women's decisions to leave their programs, if that decision involves discouragement," says Arizona State professor Bianca L. Bernstein.

The website is an important component to addressing problems in Ph.D. policies and environments, says Daniel Denecke, director of the Council of Graduate Schools, which found that women take 7 percent to 10 percent longer to complete their STEM doctorates than men do. "A lot of these obstacles that this resource is preparing students to face and to conquer are the very obstacles that we're also trying to resolve on the institutional side," Denecke says.

Arizona State researchers hope to strengthen women's ability to manage the personal and interpersonal challenges they encounter while completing graduate degrees and beginning their careers. The site features a four-step problem-solving model, modules to help users understand how they should react in certain situations, and a library of video clips in which women in STEM disciplines share their personal experiences.

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