June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.618.1 - 26.618.18
Engineering Degree Trends for African American Women and MenAcross the past decade there has been tremendous growth in Bachelor’s (BS), Master’s(MS) and Doctoral (PhD) attainment in US engineering schools. For many years it hadbeen evident that African American women were more likely than women from otherraces/ethnicities to earn engineering degrees. But, across the past nine years engineeringBS degree attainment by African American women has dropped by nearly 23%, whilealmost all other categories we typically collect have shown increases. At the same time,African American men have increased in their engineering BS degree attainment. Theintent of this paper is to use ASEE.s database to delve much deeper into this stunningchange within specific engineering disciplines and to also see whether the inevitableimpact of reduced BS degree is becoming evident at the MS and PhD level.Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Electrical/Computer Engineering areall distinct categories in the ASEE database. When these disciplines are grouped, sincethey often represent specific engineering departments, it is well known that between 2005and 2013 there was a considerable drop in degree production. There were 18 percentfewer BS degrees in these disciplines in 2013 than in 2005. For African Americans thedrop was somewhat greater at about 23%, but there is a startling difference by gender.The decrease in the number of African American male BS degrees is about thirteenpercent whereas the decrease in African American female BS degrees was nearly fiftypercent. This resulted in a decrease in gender diversity among African American BSdegrees in electrical and computer engineering disciplines from twenty-six percent toseventeen percent. The contemporaneous change in overall gender diversity decreasedfrom about thirteen to twelve percent.
Bowman, K. J. (2015, June), Engineering Degree Trends for African American Women and Men Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23956
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