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DeMagnetizing Engineering

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2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD)


Arlington, Virginia

Publication Date

February 25, 2024

Start Date

February 25, 2024

End Date

February 27, 2024

Conference Session

Track 4: Technical Session 9: DeMagnetizing Engineering

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

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Paper Authors


Delano White The Gaskins Foundation

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Delano White is the Executive Director of The Gaskins Foundation a 501c3 non-profit organization. The foundation oversees, STEMulatesTM, a K-12 pre-college program that presents, engages and prepares youth to enter STEM fields using design, algebra and programming concepts. The program has been nationally recognized for preparing students academically and professionally.

Delano holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Michigan. While at Michigan, he also served as Chairman and C.E.O. of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), As Chairman, he helped launch the Technical OutReach Community Help (TORCH) program and launched the NSBE 2025 initiative.

He is the author of three books, Diary of a Mad Businessman: A Layman’s Guide to Starting a Business from the Ground Up, Instant Gratification: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Satisfying Every Customer, Every Time and his memoir Taking My Soul to the
Laundromat: From Prison Walls to Executive Halls Each book was written for the purpose of sharing his life lessons with others. He currently resides in Cincinnati, OH with his wife Dr. Whitney B. Gaskins. He is an
Associate Minister at the New Friendship Baptist Church. He has previously been awarded the Spirit of Detroit Award and the Distinguished Service Award (2007) from the Detroit City Council for his commitment to community uplifting. He was. awarded the Unsung Hero Award for creating STEM opportunities in the Cincinnati
area and is the 2019 NSBE Golden Torch Award Pre-College Initiative Director of the

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Whitney Gaskins University of Cincinnati

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Dr. Gaskins is the Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science, the only African-American female currently teaching in the faculty of the College of Engineering

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The lack of diversity in engineering programs has been a persistent problem in the US. One of the largest disparities in engineering enrollment is with Black students. It is crucial to address the unique challenges that Black students face in gaining admission to engineering programs. Despite the resources and effort committed to addressing this issue, the percentage of Black students completing engineering programs has remained stagnant. To better understand the issue, we analyzed nearly 4,000 admissions records for Black students who applied to the College of Engineering at an urban, Tier 1, research institution. We identified trends and patterns in Black engineering enrollment and how the problem of underrepresentation in engineering programs affects the Black community.

To complete the analysis, we reviewed the secondary schools that each applicant attended. We classified the schools of the Black students that applied to the college to better understand the background of the population. For the purposes of the analysis, schools were separated into four categories: Private, Suburban Public, Urban Charter and Urban Public. The urban public category was separated into two subcategories: Magnet and Non-magnet. Our core research question is what percentage of Black students attended non-magnet secondary schools.

Using those aforementioned classifications, we will then compare the list to who is granted admission. Even though the majority of Black students in the U.S. attend non-magnet, urban public schools, less than 10% of the Black applied attended one of these schools. This means that there is an opportunity to create new pipelines into engineering programs from these schools.

This session will present our data and recommendations on future work. Additionally, we will present preliminary data on follow-up surveys from Black engineering students in four-year institutions. We will also provide recommendations on ways institutions can expand the pathways into non-magnet, urban public school districts.

White, D., & Gaskins, W. (2024, February), DeMagnetizing Engineering Paper presented at 2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD), Arlington, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--45442

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