June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Minorities in Engineering
12.877.1 - 12.877.10
Increasing Enrollment of Minority Women in Engineering
The percentage of African American Engineers in the national workforce is very low. Among them, the percentage of Female African American Engineers is significantly lower, double minority, which generates a real concern and needs immediate attention.
This paper investigates the participation of women engineers, particularly minority black women engineers in various courses in the Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering at Alabama A&M University. The female students were found to be only approximately 20% of the undergraduate engineering students. The average grades received by the male and female students in various undergraduate courses in both the Civil and Mechanical engineering departments were calculated for comparison. The women student average grades in most cases were better than their male counterpart, which demonstrates that they are capable of studying engineering along with the male students, if they choose so.
To explore the cause of low attendance of female students in engineering, as an assessment tool a survey instrument was developed, and was completed by women students of both the Civil and Mechanical engineering departments. The survey results were analyzed and data for both departments were compared. Based on the survey results various social aspects including general tendency of women to study liberal arts, misconception about engineering, lack of proper math and science courses in high school, etc were identified, which causes low participation of women in engineering.
In order to increase the enrollment and retention of women in engineering programs, a survey tool was also developed and completed by the undergraduate Civil and Mechanical Engineering students. The study shows that certain facilitating conditions including scholarship, summer internship, awareness generation about the benefits of engineering education, increased levels of self-confidence development, desire to study technical education, etc are required. This paper shows that by implementing certain pre-conditions, the enrollment of minority African American Women Engineers can be significantly increased which will lead to a balanced workforce and improve the national economy.
Chowdhury, S., & Chowdhury, T. (2007, June), Increasing Enrollment Of Minority Women In Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3051
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