07.05.134:34 PM ET

Building Up STEM Majors

Colleges encourage support system for female science, tech students.

Since only about 25 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degree holders are women, it can be a lonely club. So some universities have started outreach and mentoring programs to ensure their female STEM students feel supported. Schools like the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Tech have structured residence-hall systems where new female engineering students are mentored by those already in the programs. Their communities can also volunteer and play sports together. “It was really cool because I would go to class and look around and see maybe one or two other women, then go home and my area was all women, so I didn’t notice so much,” says Michigan Technological University student Kaitlyn Bunker.