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Mentoring Men Of Color And Women To Faculty Positions: Results From A Faculty Survey

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

The Climate for Women In Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.847.1 - 8.847.10



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Paper Authors

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Natela Ostrovskaya

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Jan Rinehart

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Susan Metz

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

Session 3592 Mentoring Men of Color and Women to Faculty Positions: Results from a Faculty Survey

Jan Rinehart, Susan Staffin Metz, Natela Ostrovskaya Texas A&M University/Stevens Institute of Technology/Texas A&M University

Abstract This paper reports on an engineering faculty survey designed to provide insights into why under represented (women, African American men, Latinos, and Native American men) enter academia. There continues to be a shortage of participation from these groups in the engineering field and even with all the efforts of people, foundations, and agencies, the numbers are not increasing. Determining what the factors are that motivate and encourage young people to pursue Ph.D.s and then select academic careers, is vital to the economic growth of America.

Introduction The representation of men of color and women faculty in engineering in the U.S. is extraordinarily low. The most recent data (1997) indicate that female engineering faculty who have doctorate degrees employed at four-year colleges is at a level of 6.5% (tenured and non-tenured, tenure track). The number of doctoral engineers employed as postsecondary faculty in two and four-year colleges is so small for Black, Hispanic and Native Americans that they are go unreported since the number is less than 500. 1 The data at the graduate level is compelling since this is the population of individuals who represent the potential source of college faculty. Although the percentage of women receiving doctorate degrees in engineering in 2001 declined from 15.8% to 14.7%, the number increased from 937 to 1039 degrees granted. 2 Just 197 under represented people of color earned doctorate degrees in engineering in 1997 and remains the same in 2001. 3 This figure is actually inflated because the minority data are not disaggregated by gender and therefore women of color are double counted.

Increasing the presence of female faculty in engineering schools is critical since increasing the number of role models and mentors encourages the persistence of undergraduate and graduate women in technical fields. 4, 5 In one study, Robst found that a significant positive relationship exists between retention and the percentage of science, mathematics, and computer science (SMC) courses taken by female students that are taught by women. 6 Robst states that the larger the percentage of SMC courses taken with female faculty, the more likely female students will return for a second year. Sloat maintains that if we expect to and are serious about attracting more women into the sciences, the continuing need for female faculty in the sciences cannot be ignored.7 The presence of female role models is critical to increasing the pool of young women pursuing degrees in science and engineering. Exclusive female colleges, where role models are abundant, have proven success in directing and retaining female students in science and math. Jadwiga reports that almost half of women’s college graduates chose to work in traditionally male

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ostrovskaya, N., & Rinehart, J., & Metz, S. (2003, June), Mentoring Men Of Color And Women To Faculty Positions: Results From A Faculty Survey Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11727

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