F9-SP2-4 - Intersectionality at minority serving institutions (MSIs): A longitudinal analysis of female student participation within engineering and computing

3. Research Full Paper
Trina Fletcher1 , Estefani Arroyo1, Andrew Green1, Ronald Quintero1
1 Florida International University

Abstract—This full research paper presents a study of longitudinal data on female students at a research intensive (R1) public minority serving institution (MSI). Within the United States, despite the increased focus on broadening participation efforts supported by state and federal governments, industry and non-profit organizations, most higher education institutions have yet to reach parity with women’s participation in engineering and computing. According to the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), women earned 22% of bachelor’s degrees, 27% of master’s degrees and 24% of doctoral degrees in engineering as of 2018. This, on a positive note, is a continuation of the decade long upward trend in the proportion of women earning engineering degrees at all levels. For engineering bachelor’s degrees, women have seen a 53% increase in degrees awarded between 2010 and 2018. For this study, the target institution’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) has partnered with industry organizations to enhance their understanding of experiences amongst female students within engineering and computing. The overarching goal of the partnerships are to improve graduation and retention rates of female students and faculty. Using intersectionality as the conceptual framework, the goal of this research study is to deeply examine longitudinal data centered on outcome metrics linked to female students within engineering and computing over a 10-year span. Results will be used to answer the research questions on how metrics have changed over time for female students in areas such as enrollment by department and ethnicity. Results shows an overall upward for enrollment and graduation rates across departments and by ethnic groups with some areas showing slight dips that need to be further explored. Results from this study be shared with college-level leadership, including the Dean, Associate Deans and Department Chairs, in order to promote the recruitment, retention, and graduation of more female students in within engineering and computing majors. Research in this area will help identify future research opportunities including collecting qualitative data to help explain the findings from this study.