June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.256.1 - 12.256.4
Articulating a Multifaceted Approach for Promoting Diversity in Graduate Engineering Education Abstract
This presentation is a continuation of a multiyear discussion focusing on encouraging diversity in engineering education, with an emphasis on graduate education. It will provide both a summary of previous years' discussions and an introduction to this year's discussion, in a session jointly sponsored by three ASEE divisions--the Graduate Division, Minorities in Engineering, and Women in Engineering. In previous years we have looked at successful programs and initiatives at a number of institutions, identified important issues for promoting diversity at the graduate level, and elucidated a strategy for promoting diversity, based on a holistic model which can also be applied in industry. Our focus now is on tactics which can be employed to support this strategy, whether by diversity program coordinators, other college and university administrators, groups of faculty and students, external stakeholders such as potential employers, or individuals.
This presentation continues a discussion begun in 2004 on the specific problems of increasing diversity in graduate education. 1,2,3. These discussions focused on: • showcasing exemplary programs for graduate students and for encouraging undergraduates to choose graduate study (at Arizona State University, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, University of Washington, Mercer University, and University of South Florida) • defining underlying issues affecting diversity at the graduate level • articulating a holistic approach for dealing with the issues identified. In this year's discussion we will address ways to achieve a multilayered approach to encouraging diversity, with modifications for environments which can provide different levels of support.
Encouraging diversity--decreasing commitment at the graduate level
While there are many excellent college and university programs which provide support and encouragement for women and minorities in engineering, most of these programs emphasize undergraduate education. And many institutions, especially in this era of tight budgets, are scaling back the initiatives they have put in place. In addition, by their structure, with more emphasis on specific research groups or departments, graduate programs are less likely to be influenced by institutional diversity programs which are in place. Thus it is quite likely that a woman or minority student who does enter a graduate degree program will be moving from an environment with a strong support system into a more traditional environment. The number of role models and potential mentors may be much smaller than at the undergraduate institution, and much mentoring may need to take place at a distance. Students may have participated in special research programs for undergraduates, with components providing mentoring and encouragement to continue on to graduate education. But the research climate for a typical graduate student may be very different from the supportive atmosphere provided by these undergraduate research programs. Thus it is important to look at tactics which students moving into more traditional graduate programs, and their mentors, can use to help them succeed.
DeLoatch, E., & Kerns, S., & Morell, L., & Purdy, C., & Smith, P., & Truesdale, S., & Waugh, B. (2007, June), Articulating A Multifaceted Approach For Promoting Diversity In Graduate Engineering Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2214
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