Upping the Numbers
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis
Chapter 11: Achieving Greater Diversity through Curricular Change
11. Achieving greater diversity through curricular change Ilene J. Busch-Vishniac and Jeﬀrey P. Jarosz INTRODUCTION Although majority males are more likely to enroll in high school advanced placement science and math courses than are women and underrepresented minorities, it is at the undergraduate college level – when students are free to choose a school and a discipline – that the science, math and engineering classroom displays a distinct lack of diversity for the ﬁrst time. Further, since a technical major in college is required for entry into science and engineering professions, this lack of diversity in college classrooms presages the lack of diversity seen in the technical professions. Without a change toward greater diversity at the college level, it is clear that we will not achieve signiﬁcant diversity gains in the engineering and science professions. In the USA, women are now 58 percent of all college students and 50 percent of those in science and engineering. However, within the technical ﬁelds there are big diﬀerences. Women are 51 percent of chemistry majors but only 22 percent of physics students and 20 percent of engineering students. Within engineering, women are only 14 percent of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering majors (Dedicated Engineers, 2006a). For underrepresented minorities, the problem is even more noticeable than for women. From 1993 to 1999 the African-American enrollment in engineering fell by 17 percent (Wulf, 2002, p. 20). The current African-American share of baccalaureates in science and engineering is 8.4 percent overall, but only 5.0 percent...
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