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Assessing Success: Female Engineers At Cooper Union

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Women in Engineering: New Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.233.1 - 7.233.18



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Paper Authors

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Naphysah O. Duncan

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Gerardo Del Cerro

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Session 2592

Assessing Success: Female Engineers at The Cooper Union

Gerardo del Cerro, Naphysah O. Duncan The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

At the Cooper Union School of Engineering, female students account for about thirty five percent of the student population. This figure has held constant for the past ten years. Rather than trailing male students, female engineers at Cooper show a remarkable success in various areas, as measured by positive perception of the school's curriculum and programs and academic results. This paper presents and analyzes the basic evidence of female success at Cooper for the past years. It also provides a context to understand and pursue success by female engineering students elsewhere. Rather than providing their own interpretation of the data, the authors asked the female students themselves to give their opinions by responding to a questionnaire. The results of this survey, conducted among female engineering students, are included and commented.

The Admissions Process Determination of the success of female engineering students begins first with an investigation of female student admission and attendance in The Cooper Union School of Engineering. Data was assembled with respect to the number of female students who applied to the school of engineering, the number admitted, and the number which accepted the offer of admission. The statistics, which include data from 1995 to 2000, were then compared to male students and the total amount of students who applied, were admitted, and accepted admittance to the engineering school. The collected data is displayed in Table I.

Traditionally, there are a greater number of males than females who apply to engineering schools. This trend also occurs at Cooper Union. Although this is the case, statistical examination of the percentage of female students offered admission versus their male counterpart shows that the percentage of female students offered admission for the aforementioned time period has usually been higher than the percentage of male applicants accepted. As displayed in Figure 1, this is also true for the percentage of admission offers to female students versus the overall offers of admission. Even in 1999,

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Duncan, N. O., & Del Cerro, G. (2002, June), Assessing Success: Female Engineers At Cooper Union Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11281

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