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Measuring The Effectiveness Of A Series Of Workshops Focused On The Retention Of Underrepresented Engineering Faculty

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.929.1 - 10.929.14



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Paper Authors

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Norma Mattei

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

Measuring the Effectiveness of a Series of Workshops Focused on the Retention of Underrepresented Engineering Faculty

Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E. University of New Orleans


With a workforce that is heavy with engineers nearing retirement age and an engineering undergraduate population growth rate that is fairly flat, administrators will have to focus more and more on recruitment and retention. Women and minorities have long been underrepresented in engineering and are a potential source of future engineers. A diverse faculty would, of course, be an asset in getting and keeping a more diverse student body. However, the pool of women and minority engineering faculty is quite limited. These faculty usually do not have the benefit of similar mentors and peers at their institutions on whom they can rely for coaching and support. To help level the playing field, a series of three-day workshops have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation for the past decade, occurring every other year since 1995. Participants of these workshops are women and minority engineering faculty who are in the first three years of a tenure-track appointment and PhD candidates actively looking to become educators. The benefits of the workshops include enhanced participant awareness of research and funding opportunities and what is required to be successful in academe (teaching, publishing, outreach, etc.); diversification of participants' research program goals; and development of a network of mentors and peers who have encountered similar challenges in advancing within academe (specifically within their own technical fields). In order to access the success of these workshops, participants were given a pre-workshop and a post-workshop survey. The results of these surveys indicate that the workshops’ goals are being met. The workshop and the results of the surveys will be discussed in detail.


Engineering, despite advances in the past several decades, is still primarily a white male dominated profession. In promoting diversity, having a similar role model helps in student retention of underrepresented groups. Engineering faculty are the first role models that many students are exposed to. However, engineering faculty are even less diverse than the engineering workforce [5]. In 2001, 16% of the science and engineering doctorates were awarded to women (up from 12% in 1997). Blacks only earned 3% and Hispanics earned almost 4% of all science and engineering doctorates in 1997, but these percentages declined in 2001. Accordingly, the pool of potential female and minority engineering educators is very small. Should it be important to the profession that these female and minority doctoral students be retained in academia as engineering educators?

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society of Engineering Education”

Mattei, N. (2005, June), Measuring The Effectiveness Of A Series Of Workshops Focused On The Retention Of Underrepresented Engineering Faculty Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14672

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