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Building Bridges To Engineering Careers For Underserved Students

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

TYCD 2004 Lower Division Initatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.275.1 - 9.275.5

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Paper Authors

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Ray Walter

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2148 – Building Bridges with Community Colleges

Building Bridges to Engineering Careers for Underserved Students

Ray J. Walter

Waukesha County Technical College


A project with Waukesha County Technical College, Marquette University, and other partners, funded by a Congressional Award, increases the number of underserved individuals completing a degree to enter rewarding engineering careers. This model program removes barriers through collaborative linkages with secondary and post-secondary institutions, businesses, and community, minority, and professional organizations to recruit, support, and retain underserved students. It integrates program curricula and creates detailed plans to replicate this program at other institutions.


There is a need to increase the number of women and minority engineers and the number of women and minorities in engineering education. Women accounted for approximately 35 percent of employed engineers between 1993 and 1999, Asians made up about 11 percent, African- Americans and Hispanics each made up about 3 percent and American Indians made up less than 0.5 percent [1]. Although engineering is “gaining in popularity at all degree levels” [2], according to the results of ASEE’s 2001-2002 survey, women and minorities are underrepresented in engineering with women earning engineering degrees at between 17 and 22 percent, and African-American and Hispanic students both represented at less than 5.5 percent at the undergraduate level [2].

United States Bureau of the Census data is useful to compare relative percentages of groups including gender, race/ethnicity, and disability. That data shows that the demographic composition of the population in 1999 included approximately half women, African-Americans and Hispanics each were 12 percent of the population, Asians were 4 percent of the population, and American Indians were less than 1 percent of the population [3]. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in 1997, about 20 percent of the population had a disability [4].

background Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Walter, R. (2004, June), Building Bridges To Engineering Careers For Underserved Students Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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