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What drives diversity? [engineering education and underrepresentation of minority groups]

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2 Author(s)
Pfatteicher, S.K.A. ; Coll. of Eng., Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; Tongue, M.P.

A great deal of effort is being put forth to solve "the diversity problem"- the underrepresentation of women and people of color in student and faculty populations-at colleges of engineering. This paper reviews our understanding of the motivations or "drivers" behind the need to increase diversity. These drivers lie along a spectrum from external to internal motivations, and from those that are compliance-focused to those whose goal is change of the culture and profession of engineering. The drivers influence not only the definition of diversity we use, but the solutions and assessment of those solutions as well. Since finding effective solutions to this problem requires highly functional teams of people (the problem is too large for any one person to craft solutions on his/her own), we provide a starting point in the discussion by asking all the team members where they see themselves in this spectrum.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2002. FIE 2002. 32nd Annual  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov. 2002

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