Increasing Participation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Engineering


Related Links

American Indian Science & Engineering Society
National Society of Black Engineers
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Society of Women Engineers
Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network

Research Foundations for Improving the Representation of Women in the Information Technology Workforce: NSF sponsored a virtual workshop that explored research issues underlying the underrepresentation of women in Information Technology.

Achieving Gender Equity in Science Classrooms: A Guide for Faculty : In this handbook we describe the aspects of culture that researchers believe contribute to attrition from SME majors, and we give concrete suggestions for addressing each of these issues. If implemented, these changes may prevent very capable students from leaving the sciences and may also attract students initially uninvolved in the sciences. We hope that this handbook will help faculty members become more aware of the issues that affect women in science and will provide them with ideas on how to address these issues in their own classrooms.

Integrated Gender Equity and Reform (InGEAR): This is a compilation of curriculum materials that promote excellence and equity in mathematics, science, and engineering instruction. This web site is being developed as part of a multiuniversity project titled Integrating Gender Equity and Reform (InGEAR). To learn more about In GEAR, visit the In GEAR Home Page.


Increase the diversity of the engineering education learning environment by attracting a larger percentage of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities into the study of engineering and retaining them through graduation.


A diverse student body can be defined as one that shows variety in its gender and racial or ethnic composition and resembles the population as a whole. One result of having a more representative student body is a better sense of community and hence a better learning environment for students.

Experience in a diverse student community makes available to students a wider variety of experiences as they interact with students whose gender and culture differ from their own. Seeing different ways to identify, define, assess, and solve problems provides a useful learning environment for students as they progress through the engineering curriculum. If a larger number and greater variety of perspectives are brought to bear in discovering, defining, and solving problems, solutions are more creative. Successfully addressing team maintenance and process problems in groups with diverse members helps students gain useful abilities on conflict resolution, abilities increasingly sought by industry. Today's graduates will be working in a fiercely competitive world market that is multicultural and globally oriented. Providing experiences in gender, cultural, or ethnic diversity will directly benefit our students, who are and will continue to be living in a diverse environment.

There are close relationships between this key component (link to key components page) and others. For example, pre college girls prefer cooperative learning strategies and the role of pedagogy in retention, especially as it relates to women and minorities, has been documented.

Foundation Coalition Publications

Shawna Fletcher, Dana C. Newell, Leyla D. Newton and Mary R. Anderson-Rowland
Women in Applied Science and Engineering Program

Mary McCartney and Mary Anderson-Rowland
Building a Pipeline of Future College Engineering Students

Maria A. Reyes, Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, and Mary Ann McCartney
Freshman Introductory Engineering Seminar Course: Coupled with Bridge Program Equals Academic Success and Retention

Shawna Fletcher, Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, and Stephanie Blaisdell
Industry Involvement in the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Recruiting and Retention Programs

Karan Watson and Mary R. Anderson-Rowland
Interfaces Between the Foundation Coalition Integrated Curriculum and Programs for Honors, Minority, Women, and Transfer Students

Mary McCartney, Maria Reyes, Mary Anderson-Rowland
Internal and External Challenges for Minority Engineering Programs

Mary Anderson-Rowland, Maria Reyes, Mary Ann McCartney
MEP Summer Bridge Program: Mathematics Assessment Strategies

Stephanie Blaisdell, Angela Middleton, and Mary Anderson-Rowland
Re-engineering Engineering Education to Retain Women

Mary Aleta White, Stephanie Blaisdell, and Mary R. Anderson-Rowland
Recruiting Women into Engineering Graduate Programs

Stephanie L. Blaisdell, Rebecca J. Dozier, and Mary R. Anderson-Rowland
Teaching and Learning in an Era of Equality: An Engineering Program for Middle School Girls

Mary White, Stephanie Blaisdell, Mary Anderson-Rowland
Women in Engineering Scholars Program

Stephanie Blaisdell, Russell Jones, and Constantine Andreyev
An Interactive CD ROM to Sensitize Engineering Students to Diversity Issues

Stephanie Blaisdell
Predictors of Women's Entry into Engineering: Why Academic Preparation is Not Sufficient

Stephanie L. Blaisdell, Rebecca J. Dozier, and Mary R. Anderson-Rowland
Teaching and Learning in an Era of Equality: An Engineering Program for Middle School Girls

Mary White, Stephanie Blaisdell, Mary Anderson-Rowland
Women in Engineering Scholars Program

James M. Graham, Rita Caso and Jeanne Rierson
The Effect of the Texas A&M University System AMP on the Success of Minority Undergraduates in Engineering: A Multiple-Outcome Analysis

Karen Frair, Karen Watson
The NSF Foundation Coalition: Curriculum Change and Underrepresented Groups

Antonio Garcia, Gary Keller, Albert McHenry, Fred Begay
Enhancing Underrepresented Student Opportunities Through Faculty Mentoring and Peer Interactions

References for Further Information

  1. Astin, Alexander, Achieving Educational Excellence, 1985, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass
  2. Langley, Ann, "Between 'Paralysis by Analysis' and 'Extinction by Instinct," Sloan Management Review, vol. 36, no. 3 (Spring 1995), pp. 63-76.
  3. Waitley, Denis, Empires of the Mind: Lessons to Lead and Succeed in a Knowledge-Based World, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995.
  4. Manz, Charles C. and Henry P. Sims, Jr., Business Without Bosses: How Self-Managing Teams Are Building High-Performing Companies, New York: John Wiley, 1993.
  5. Conner, Daryl R., Managing at the Speed of Change: How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail, New York: Villard Books, 1995.
  6. Hamel, Gary and C.K. Prahalad, Competing for the Future: Breakthrough Strategies for Seizing Control of Your Industry and Creating the Markets of Tomorrow, Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 1994.
  7. Wilson, Thomas B, Innovative Reward Systems for the Changing Workplace, New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1995.
  8. Eccles, J. 1989. "Bringing Young Women into Math and Science," In M. Crawford and M. Gentry, eds, Gender and Thought: Psychological Perspectives, New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.
  9. Johnson, D. W. and R. T. Johnson., "Cooperative Learning and the Achievement and Socialization Crisis in Science and Math Classroom," in A.B. Champagne, and L.E. Hornig, eds.,1987, Students and Science Learning, Washington, DC: AAAS
  10. Kahle, J.B., ed., "Real Students Take Chemistry and Physics," in K. Tobin, J.B. Kahle, and B.J. Fraser, eds., Windows into Science Classrooms: Problems Associated with Higher-Level Cognitive Learning, 1990, New York, NY, Falmer Press
  11. Koehler, M.S. "Classroom, Teachers and Gender Differences in Mathematics, " in E. Fennema and G. Leder, eds., Mathematics and Gender, 1990, New, NY, Teachers College Press
  12. Petterson, P.L., and E. Fennema, "Effective teaching: Student Engagement in Classroom Activities and Sex-related Differences in Learning Mathematics," 1985, American Education Research Journal, 11:309-335
  13. Smail, B., "An attempt to move mountains: the 'girls into science and technology' GIST project," Journal of Curriculum Studies, 17:351-354
  14. Seymour, E. and N. Hewitt, Talking About Leaving, 1997, Westview Press, Boulder CO
  15. Tobias, S, They're Not Dumb, They're Different: Stalking the Second Tier, 1990, Tucson, AZ, Research Corporation

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