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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2020027889
pages 199-243


Jeremi S. London
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 635 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
Walter C. Lee
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 635 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
Canek Phillips
Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA 
Amy S. Van Epps
Harvard University, Cabot Science Library, LL16, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
Bevlee A. Watford
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 635 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA


Trends in broadening participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science have not significantly improved despite significant investments and efforts of educators, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. Given the lack of progress, it is imperative for the field of engineering education to synthesize and use insights from existing literature to readjust its strategy for addressing this persistent problem. Unfortunately, the work that has been done in this area is fragmented in disparate bodies of literature. The purpose of this study is to describe the landscape of existing scholarship germane to broadening participation in engineering and computer science, particularly as it relates to African Americans. The guiding research question is: What are the salient characteristics of literature on broadening the participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science? Using a systematic mapping methodology, we identified and screened 1180 scholarship records. We categorized and tabulated the 470 that met our eligibility criteria after extracting data on publication year, publication type, population race, population gender, segment, study type, and methods. Our results revealed numerous trends in this scholarship, dealing with both the focus of the scholarship as well as the manner in which it has been produced. As stakeholders continue working towards broadening participation of African Americans, we hope that this mapping review not only raises awareness of the current state of efforts dedicated to each segment of the K-12-to-workforce pathway, but also illuminates gaps in the literature yet to be filled.


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