Recruiting and retaining women in engineering: A Kentucky collaboration

John Sasser, G. T. Lineberry, Sue Scheff

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


According to the Engineering Workforce Commission, women received approximately 21% of the nation's B.S. degrees in engineering in 2000. If bio-related fields are omitted, the percentage drops well below 20%. Only modest improvement has been made in these statistics since, beginning in the mid-1980's, many U.S. engineering colleges focused attention on the issue of diversifying the engineering workforce. Current research indicates that eliminating the significant gender incongruity in engineering requires improvement in recruitment, retention, and advancement practices. In an effort to increase the number of B.S.-level women engineers in Kentucky, a partnership has been forged between Midway College and the University of Kentucky (UK). In this program, students enrolled in full-time study at Midway College may fulfill lower-division electrical engineering course requirements at UK while remaining predominately on the Midway campus. Students may earn an A.S. from Midway and a B.S. from UK in four years. Earning such a degree is becoming increasingly difficult in Kentucky, as smaller schools' offerings of pre-engineering curricula have diminished markedly over the past decade. Obstacles that have interfered with the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in engineering are being countered in this innovative educational partnership. Despite dissimilar profiles, the two institutions embarking on this experiment possess notable similarities with respect to their commitment to gender diversity in engineering and their awareness of the need to increase the number of engineers in Kentucky.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2H-1-S2H-6
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - 2004
Event34th Annual Frontiers in Education: Expanding Educational Opportunities Through Partnerships and Distance Learning - Conference Proceedings, FIE - Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2004Oct 23 2004


  • Educational partnership
  • Multi-institution collaboration
  • Women in engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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