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Understanding The Numbers: Increasing The Number Of Minority Engineering Students

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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

8.1223.1 - 8.1223.12



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Paper Authors

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John Kaplan

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Kathleen Kaplan

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

Session Division: 2793

Session Division: Multimedia 2793

Understanding the Numbers: Increasing the Number of Minority Engineering Students

Kathleen M. Kaplan, D.Sc., Lt Col John J. Kaplan (Ph.D., J.D.) USAF

Howard University/USAF


In order to begin to increase the number of minority engineering students, the current state of affairs must be understood and analyzed. The analysis shows a lack of representation of minority engineering students. This representation is lacking with respect to all engineering students and with respect to the U.S. population percentages of minority 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 the two main groups within the minority population, Blacks and 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 minority 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 minorities in engineering is not improved, the field of engineering will suffer. This paper will address all of the above items: 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 other minority groups, the next-generation of college students, the projected future populations, and some possible solutions to increasing the numbers of minority students in the engineering field.

Literature Search

In researching this area, one finds a plethora of information, yet not all address the accurate state of minority students in engineering. Some references, including those published by NSF1,2, state accurate information, but focus on the increase in the numbers of minority students, not the racial groups within the minority groups or the relationship between these numbers and the U.S. population. Also, accurate information regarding engineering students is missing. According to the NSF’s Science and Engineering

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

Kaplan, J., & Kaplan, K. (2003, June), Understanding The Numbers: Increasing The Number Of Minority Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12384

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