Asee peer logo

Metrics To Assess Broadening Participation In Stem

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Impacts of Public Policy on Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.891.1 - 13.891.15



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Elizabeth Cady National Academy of Engineering

visit author page

Elizabeth Cady is an associate program officer at the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering.

visit author page


Norman Fortenberry National Academy of Engineering

visit author page

Norman Fortenberry is the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering. CASEE is a collaborative effort dedicated to achieving excellence in engineering education--education that is effective, engaged, and efficient. CASEE pursues this goal by promoting research on, innovation in, and diffusion of effective models of engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Metrics to Assess Broadening Participation in STEM Abstract

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has long advocated increased diversity among its grantees, in particular through the Broader Impacts Criterion for grant proposals that looks at the impact of NSF support for research on education and on NSF support for both research and education on such things as a) advancing public understanding of science and engineering b) advancing learning, c) increasing the participation in the science and engineering enterprise of underrepresented populations, and d) enhancing the infrastructure for research and education [1] Despite this philosophy, few metrics by which to gauge grantees’ progress in broadening participation exist. Included within the suite of possible responses to the Broader Impacts Criterion of the NSF Merit Review Criteria are those activities that advance the goal of increasing the participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by those individuals who are traditionally underrepresented in NSF fields (e.g., women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) and/or institutions that are underrepresented as recipients of NSF grants (e.g., community colleges, minority serving institutions, baccalaureate colleges, and other non-research institutions). Although NSF provides examples of such activities, there is currently no method by which to gauge grantee attention to the Broader Impacts Criterion or the success of such efforts when they are asserted. To provide suggestions of possible metrics, The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), with NSF support, convened a workshop consisting of individuals broadly representative of NSF’s grantee communities. The group suggested that, at a minimum, grantee institutions should provide both their existing affirmative action plans as well as specific information on collaborations with underrepresented institutions. In addition, the working group provided a list of other metrics that PIs could voluntarily offer as support for claims of broadening participation of both individuals from underrepresented populations and individuals from institutions that have not traditionally participated in funded research. The deliberations and recommendations of the workshop attendees will be presented. It is hoped that these recommendations will lead to better defined NSF policies regarding the Broadening Participation criterion.


Section 1885 of the National Science Foundation (NSF) chapter of the United States Code [2] states (a) The Congress finds that it is in the national interest to promote the full use of human resources in science and engineering and to insure the full development and use of the scientific and engineering talents and skills of men and women, equally, of all ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds. (b) The Congress declares it is the policy of the United States to encourage men and women, equally, of all ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds to acquire skills in science, engineering, and mathematics, to have equal opportunity in education, training, and employment in scientific and engineering fields, and thereby to

Cady, E., & Fortenberry, N. (2008, June), Metrics To Assess Broadening Participation In Stem Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3150

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015