June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Minorities in Engineering
14.1014.1 - 14.1014.20
Recruiting Diverse Students to Engineering Career Paths
The need to increase recruitment of minorities into engineering is well documented. The question becomes how best to attract and recruit these students to and retain them in engineering programs. Who or what can best influence the decision-making process of a young minority student?
In the sections below, the need for increased diversity in engineering is presented, one institution’s actions to meet that need is described, and the model upon which that program was built is explained.
2.1 Need for increased diversity in engineering
“Although researchers and policy makers disagree on the nature and extent of the engineering “shortage” in the United States, few dispute the need to attract capable students, especially girls and certain minorities, into technical careers. Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and some Asian American groups are significantly underrepresented in engineering, based on their proportions in the population at large.”1 For example, women comprise 50.7% of the U.S. population (2005 est.) and 57.4% of all students enrolled in degree-granting institutions (2004), but are awarded only 20.5% of engineering bachelor’s degrees and make up only 11.0% of the engineering workforce. African Americans comprise 12.8% of the population (2004) and 12.5% of all students enrolled in degree-granting institutions, but are awarded only 5.3% of engineering bachelor’s degrees and make-up only 3.1% of the engineering workforce. 2 “If current demographic trends continue, by 2050 almost half the U.S. population will be non- white (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002). In the future, engineering solutions will have to be acceptable to this increasingly diverse population, and the engineering profession will have to draw more heavily on underrepresented groups for the country to maintain, let alone increase, its technological capability (NAE, 2004)”1
2.2 Engineers of Tomorrow
Increasing the number of high school students choosing STEM college paths, and ultimately STEM careers may be one way to attract the kinds of jobs to a region that provide long-term, diversified, economic growth, higher salaries, and subsequently a higher standard of living for local residents. In pursuit of that goal for West Virginia’s residents, West Virginia University's (WVU) College Engineering and Mineral Resources embarked on a multi-intervention plan to attract high school students to STEM careers, and put more STEM graduates into the STEM
Hensel, R., & Wynne, J., & Curtis, R., & Winn, G. (2009, June), Recruiting Diverse Students To Engineering Career Paths Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4773
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