June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.1324.1 - 8.1324.10
Zero to 36% in Thirty Years – A History of Female Undergraduates at Caltech Carol Mullenax Tulane University
Over the now thirty-four years of female undergraduate presence on the Caltech campus, a steady increase in female enrollment has occurred. The nature of this increase, the driving factors behind it, and the portion of the female population in engineering at the Institute over time are investigated and compared to both total Institute population and national norms.
The author hopes to quantify the enrollment gains for undergraduate women at Caltech, to determine whether the increases have been homogenous across fields of study, and also to detail what mechanisms have been employed by the Institute in order to encourage more women to enroll.
A small, private institution focused on science, math, and engineering, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is located in the quiet Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, CA. Although women had taken part in graduate programs since the turn of the 20th century, the Institute’s first baccalaureate degree was awarded to a woman in 1973. To date, less than one thousand women are undergraduate alumnae of Caltech.
Academics Caltech is organized into six divisions as shown in Figure 1, one of which is Engineering & Applied Science. This division encompasses all engineering disciplines except Chemical
Physics, Physics, Geology & Geology & Engineering Engineering Chemistry & Chemistry & Humanities Humanities Math & Math & Planetary Planetary & Applied & Applied Chemical Chemical Biology Biology & Social & Social Astronomy Astronomy Science Science Science Science Engineering Engineering Sciences Sciences
Aeronautics Aeronautics Chemical Engineering Applied Mechanics Chemical Engineering Applied Mechanics Bioengineering Bioengineering Civil Engineering Civil Engineering Computation & Neural Systems Computation & Neural Systems Computer Science Computer Science Control & Dynamic Systems Control & Dynamic Systems Electrical Engineering Electrical Engineering Environmental Science & Engineering Environmental Science & Engineering Materials Science Materials Science Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering
Figure 1: Academic divisions at Caltech, and engineering options (majors) within that structure
Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Mullenax, C. (2003, June), Zero To 36% In Thirty Years – A History Of Female Undergraduates At Caltech Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12305
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