2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Indicators of Participation: A Critical Review of Publicly-available STEM Data Sources

Presented at Track: Collegiate - Technical Session 5

Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Engineering

Several national reports convey the need for better data on the participation of underrepresented groups in engineering. The purpose of this paper is to 1) catalogue data sources that collect STEM-related information at a national level, and 2) critique their usefulness as it relates to informing efforts aimed at broadening participation of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in engineering. To this end, we identified and reviewed multiple STEM-related data sources published by Child Trends, American Society of Engineering Education, National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Science Foundation. A critical look across these data sources revealed important themes related to reporting practices. While data at the compulsory education level related to preparedness via math and science performance indicators, data focused on higher education and workforce segments related to participation via overall numbers (e.g., degrees award). Data on gender and race intersections were largely missing. The implications of this study highlight the ways that publicly available data sources can be improved through more thorough, systematic collection, publication, and disaggregation of data.

  1. Crystal M. Pee Virginia Tech [biography]
  2. Dr. Walter C. Lee Orcid 16x16http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University [biography]
  3. Gilbert Jew Arizona State University
  4. Dr. Bevlee Watford Virginia Tech
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