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Quantitative Analysis of Barriers to Completion of Engineering Degrees for Female-identifying and Underrepresented Minority Students

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2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Undergraduate Track - Technical Session VII

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Undergraduate Education

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Paper Authors


Nancy Mariano Seattle University

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Nancy Mariano is a first-generation college student, of Pacific Islander heritage attending Seattle University, where she currently is majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics. She is scheduled to graduate in June 2018 and plans to spend two years gaining industry experience as a software engineer within the data science field. After those two years, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D, in machine learning, with a focus on neural networks. She is interested in potential applications of machine learning to analyze and address issues of systemic bias.

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Agnieszka Miguel Seattle University

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Agnieszka Miguel received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2001 from the University of Washington, and MSEE and BSEE degrees from Florida Atlantic University in 1996 and 1994. Dr. Miguel's professional interests involve image processing, machine learning, and engineering education, especially active learning, diversity, retention, and recruitment. Her teaching interests include MATLAB, circuits, linear systems, and digital image processing. She is a member of the IEEE, ASEE, SWE, and Tau Beta Pi.
Currently, Dr. Miguel is Chair of the ASEE Professional Interest Council I (PIC I) and Vice President of PICs, which gives her a seat on the ASEE Board of Directors. Dr. Miguel has held several other officer positions across ASEE, including: Division Chair and Program Chair of the ECE and New Engineering Educators Divisions, and ASEE Campus Representative. Dr. Miguel is also a member-at-large of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) Board of Directors. She has been a member of the ECEDHA Annual Conference Program Committee since 2013.

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Mara Rempe Seattle University


J. McLean Sloughter Seattle University

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J. McLean Sloughter is an associate professor of mathematics at Seattle University. He completed his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Washington. His research interests include statistical forecasting and modeling, energy poverty, mathematical pedagogy, and diversity in STEM.

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This study examines barriers to successful completion of undergraduate engineering degrees amongst female-identifying and under-represented minority (URM) students at Seattle University. The goal of this data-driven study is to extract characteristics that differentiate students who do or do not successfully complete degrees within engineering.

We analyze data on undergraduate students who were enrolled in the four engineering majors in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) for any part of their time at Seattle University. We present results identifying barriers to students’ successfully completing degrees in these programs, including examining the impacts of transfer versus first-time-in-college status, students’ prior mathematics and science background, and pressures related to differing levels of unmet financial need.”

Mariano, N., & Miguel, A., & Rempe, M., & Sloughter, J. M. (2018, April), Quantitative Analysis of Barriers to Completion of Engineering Degrees for Female-identifying and Underrepresented Minority Students Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia.

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