Design Challenge: How might we help more females at BYU major in Economics?
As a Behavioral Design team, we first brainstormed the issues preventing more female students from majoring in Economics. We gathered these ideas from our own experiences, female students who had majored in Economics, and female students who were not majoring in Economics.
After brainstorming the roadblocks to females choosing Economics as a major, we grouped the ideas into themes. From those themes, we brainstormed solutions that would meet those needs.
Our efforts culminated in three prototypes:
- Professor Mentorship program
- Peer Mentorship Initiative
- Economics Major Tracks
Professor Mentorship Program
We knew that professors of Economics are busy and have little time for participating in a time-intensive mentorship program. To respect this constraint, we created a flyer for each professor that advertised small and simple ways to connect with female students. Each professor would receive a flyer at the beginning of the semester. After completing an activity, he would tear off the piece of paper and then turn it into the Economics office. At the end of the semester, the Women in Economics club would recognize the professor who had completed the most activities.
Peer Mentorship Initiative
We found that many girls don’t feel connected to their female peers in the Economics major. In order for more females to feel “part of something,” we created goody bags for the Women in Economics club to distribute to all female students in Economics 110 at the point of the first exam. These goody bags will help the younger students to see that there is someone like them in the Economics major.
Economics Major Tracks
We learned that there was often a disconnect between majoring in economics and an understanding of future careers other than those in finance. To help students understand the possibilities available to them by majoring in economics, we created different tracks that would guide students along career paths in law and politics, international development, home economics, and public good.
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