In 1993, women received only 30% of science and engineering degrees. The national percentage of students majoring in science, mathematics, and engineering declines from 28.7 their freshman year to 17.4 their senior year. The Women in Science and Engineering Residential Program was founded in 1993 in an effort to address the lack of women in STEM at an institutional level. The establishment of the WISE RP originated from the need for an inclusive community to foster the personal and academic growth of gender minoritized students pursuing STEM. Students were housed together to create a supportive community where members shared relatable gender identities and academic interests. Many of the original components of the program still exist today including: operating as a living-learning environment, providing community studying groups, pairing first-year students with a second year mentor, connecting students with research opportunities, and hosting a variety of social events.
In the fall of 2023, WISE RP will celebrate 30 years of supporting the academic and co-curricular pursuits of gender minoritized students in STEM. This major milestone serves as inspiration for many of the goals and priorities of the community. As the WISE RP reflects on the past 30 years and our impact on the UM community, we strategically chart a path forward to actualize the next 30 years where we can purposefully and intentionally cultivate the next generation of STEM leaders.The WISE RP continues to be dedicated to fulling its mission to recruit, support, and retain a diverse population of STEM students; to link students with resources and opportunities that will support their academic and personal pursuits; and to develop relationships among students with similar interests while building a community based on mutual respect and affirmation of diversity.