June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1134.1 - 10.1134.6
Disconcerting Statistics: The Future of the Hispanic Engineer
Kathleen M. Kaplan, D.Sc., Lt Col John J. Kaplan (Ph.D., J.D.) USAF
The fact that the percentage of minority students in engineering are increasing masks the truth: the number of Hispanic engineering students is distressingly low. In order to begin to increase the number of Hispanic engineering students, the current state of affairs must be understood and analyzed. A thorough analysis shows a lack of representation of Hispanic engineering students with respect to all engineering students and with respect to the U.S. population percentages of Hispanic people. Within these under-representations, in both all bachelor degrees awarded and all engineering bachelor degrees, an interesting discrepancy is apparent. The statistics show that Hispanics do not earn as many bachelor degrees nor engineering degrees as the remainder of the minority group. Another disheartening statistic is the next generation of Hispanic students, the high school graduates. The statistics do not give much hope for the future. The future population trends have been predicted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and if the current state of Hispanics in engineering is not improved, the field of engineering will suffer.
However, there is hope beyond the statistics. The U.S. Government, specifically under the budget proposals of President Bush, is addressing the problem. If successfully passed through Congress, the President’s budget will put much needed financial incentives in place to combat the low numbers of Hispanics in education.
This paper will address: the current U.S. population and education statistics, the trend of some minority groups to obtain higher percentages of both bachelor and engineering degrees over the Hispanic population, the next-generation of college students, the projected future populations, the President’s actions, and some possible solutions to increase the numbers of Hispanic students in the engineering field.
Current U.S. Population Figures, Including Minority Populations
According to the U.S. Census 2000, minorities constitute 29% of the total U.S. population, with Hispanic people constituting 12.1%, as seen in Figure 1 below. So, one would expect the percentage of Hispanic engineering students to be approximately 12%. Unfortunately, that is not the current situation.
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Kaplan, J., & Kaplan, K. (2005, June), Statistics Of Concern: The State Of Hispanic Engineering Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15078
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