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Tackling The Engineering Resource Shortage In The South: How Can We Attract And Retain Women In Engineering?

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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

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1052.1 - 8.1052.7

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Paper Authors

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Sue Scheff

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


Tackling the Engineering Resource Shortage in the South: How Can We Attract and Retain Women to Engineering?

Suzanne Scheff University of Kentucky


How should universities handle the shrinking number of females entering their engineering programs? What are the obstacles unique to the South that face college administrators? These are important questions that need to be addressed.

Recently, the Southeast Conference (SEC) universities have formed a coalition to establish a dialog among the SEC engineering schools. One goal of this coalition is to share experiences and concerns regarding diversity in our programs. Together we will identify important, common, unresolved problems associated with this issue, as well as identify collaborative efforts to resolve these problems and the “deliverables” resulting from our efforts. This alliance, entitled the “Diversity Program Alliance”, in its infant stage right now, is plagued by many societal influences unique to the South. The University of Kentucky, a large public land grant university, and a member of this alliance, plans to look into how women in engineering programming is handled at other SEC campuses, and work toward collaborative programs which will enhance all SEC campuses.

Overview/Related Literature:

Women are entering colleges and universities across the country in record numbers – surpassing the enrollment of their male counterparts. This is great news, as women are reaching the level of education where they can benefit from the full range of educational and economic opportunities available to them. In 1999-2000, 57% of all degrees earned in the U.S. went to women.. If this trend persists, women will obtain 59% of the bachelor’s degrees by 2010. As indicated in the graph below (Graph #1), the total number of women enrolled in postsecondary education in the U.S. surpassed the number of men around 1980. Women enrollments have increased significantly faster than men’s since the 1970’s. By 2009, 2.5 million more women than men are expected to enroll in our nations two and four-year institutions (8)

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

Scheff, S. (2003, June), Tackling The Engineering Resource Shortage In The South: How Can We Attract And Retain Women In Engineering? Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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