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Not Making The Grade:
Analysis Of Baccalaureate Data Reveals Engineering, Physics, Math And Computer
Science Are Laggards In Achieving Diversity In Their Graduating Classes
June 26, 2006
Menlo Park, CA-Two new reports(1) issued today by Engineers Dedicated to a Better Tomorrow (a.k.a., DedicatedEngineers) identify engineering (including engineering technology), physics, mathematics and computer science as academic fields of study badly lagging in achieving gender and/or racial/ethnic diversity in their graduating baccalaureate classes.
Both studies examined recent (2004) and historical baccalaureate data to address a critical, “bottom-line” question: How diverse are the graduating classes in Engineering and five closely-related fields (namely: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering Technology) when compared to the diversity seen in the graduating class of all Science & Engineering (S&E) fields combined?
The results show that while S&E is doing reasonably well in terms of achieving diversity in its overall graduating baccalaureate class, a closer look reveals areas of significant weakness within S&E. In particular, the following fields were identified as substantial laggards in achieving diversity in their graduating baccalaureate classes:
Given these findings, the issued reports look to serve as a “call to action” to colleges/universities, relevant professional societies, and other appropriate entities to undertake and/or support new or additional efforts specifically focused on increasing the enrollment and retention of women and minorities nationwide in the academic fields identified. In this regard, the reports put forth the following specific diversity goals:
To aid in women/minority recruiting efforts, DedicatedEngineers has simultaneously released today “Improving Engineering’s Public Image: Ten Guiding Principles,” a document detailing a 10-point set of guiding principles for establishing a “new and improved” image for engineering and engineers, one designed to be particularly compelling in regards to attracting today’s youth to engineering studies and careers.
Engineers Dedicated to a Better Tomorrow (a.k.a., DedicatedEngineers) is a charitable/educational non-profit [IRS 501(c)(3)-approved] dedicated to “making a difference,” both in terms of advancing the engineering profession, as well as in helping improve the world through the practice of engineering.
(1) The two issued reports are:
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