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

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v10.i3.50
28 pages

CAN DIVERSITY IN THE UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING POPULATION BE ENHANCED THROUGH CURRICULAR CHANGE?

Ilene J. Busch-Vishniac
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218
Jeffrey P. Jarosz
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218

ABSTRACT

The lack of diversity in the engineering workforce is a persistent problem, with no signs of pending improvement. The situation continues despite a serious technical workforce shortage in the United States. Efforts to promote diversity in the student body in U.S. engineering schools, such as industrial partnerships, academic services, and the establishment of social networks, have produced modest gains. The authors intend to pursue a distinctly different approach to the problem of encouraging a diverse engineering student population, one that focuses on the curriculum. This study reviews curricular innovations attempted to date as a basis for rebuilding the undergraduate engineering curriculum from the ground up. The goal is to produce a curriculum that retains the salient technical material but enhances the link between fundamentals and applications, reduces critical path lengths in the course sequence, introduces team experiences into all courses, and creates an atmosphere of inclusion rather than exclusion. The new curriculum will require trial, assessment, and revision before it is ready for adoption.


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