COLLOQUY ON MINORITY MALES
IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING,
Catherine Didion, Norman L. Fortenberry, and Elizabeth Cady, Rapporteurs
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
This project was supported by the National Science Foundation under award HRD-0533520. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the orgnizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING PROGRAM OFFICE STAFF
ELIZABETH CADY, Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering
CATHERINE DIDION, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering
CAMERON H. FLETCHER, Senior Editor, National Academy of Engineering
NORMAN L. FORTENBERRY1, Director, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education, Program Office, National Academy of Engineering (through April 29, 2011)
WEI JING, Research Associate, National Research Council
SIMIL RAGHAVAN, Associate Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering
PROCTOR REID, Director, Program Office, National Academy of Engineering
JASON WILLIAMS, Senior Financial Assistant, National Academy of Engineering
1 Norman Fortenberry is currently the Executive Director of the American Society for Engineering Education.
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Our two largest racial minority groups comprise about one third of the college-age kids in our country, and that fraction is steadily growing. But … they earn less than 13 percent of the engineering degrees. Let me repeat this. The fastest growing segment of our young population earns less than 13 percent of our engineering degrees. Projecting forward, we have a workforce train wreck. We need to take action now to avoid it.
– Charles M. Vest, President, National Academy of Engineering1
On August 8-12, 2010 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), convened the Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM),2 following the release of several reports highlighting the educational challenges facing minority males (e.g., by the College Board3 and the National Center for Educational Statistics4). In addition, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) had noted in its 2007 report Expanding the Pool of Potential STEM Graduates that “underrepresented minority (i.e., African American, Hispanic American, and American Indian) males are leaking from the pipeline to STEM fields in higher education and beyond. The national trends are unmistakable.”
Therefore NSF recognized the need to gather input from research communities that focus on minority males about how to frame investigations of gender-based factors that impact learning and choice in STEM education (both at the precollege and higher education levels) and the workforce for minority males. There was particular interest in framing a research agenda to study how interactions between minority males and societal and educational systems (both formal and informal) encourage or discourage the young men’s interest and persistence in STEM. In addition, NSF hoped to gain community input to inform the parameters of a future NSF research program that could effectively address minority male participation in STEM. The Colloquy was held at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland, with approximately 40 participants, most of them researchers in education, psychology, sociology, mathematics, and physics. (The list of participants is in Appendix A.)
This report presents a summary of the Colloquy’s breakout and plenary discussions, which addressed (a) research questions articulated in the breakout groups together with theories
1 Charles M. Vest, “Engineers: The Next Generation - Do we need more? Who will they be? What will they do?” Speech, 2011 NAE Annual Meeting, October 16, 2011, Washington, DC.
2 The Colloquy was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) program and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) of the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and the Social Psychology Program of the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (HRD-0533520).
3 The College Board, The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color, January 2010. Available at http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/educational-crisis-facing-young-men-of-color.pdf.
4 National Center for Educational Statistics, Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, July 2010. Available at www.air.org/files/AIR-NCESracial_stats__trends1.pdf.
and methodologies to begin to address these questions; and (b) considerations for a potential research solicitation for the NSF, with major areas of inquiry concerning access, participation, and success for minority males in STEM.
This report reflects the views of the individuals who participated in the plenary and breakout groups. It has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of the report: LeManuel Lee Bitsoi, Harvard University; Florence B. Bonner, Howard University; Daryl E. Chubin, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, The George Washington University; Luis Ponjuan, Texas A&M University; and John Brooks Slaughter, University of Southern California. Although the reviewers listed provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lance A. Davis, Executive Officer of the National Academy of Engineering, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Norman L. Fortenberry
Elizabeth Cady, Rapporteurs