In the US, there are two academic pathways to a career in engineering: Engineering and Engineering Technology (ET). Engineering Technology attracts more African American and Latin American students than traditional engineering programs. Nationally, African American students are more than twice as likely to enroll in an ET program versus Engineering. We suspect it may be due to traditional Engineering programs’ requirement of higher levels of math and science classes, often lacking in under-privileged or underserved urban or rural high schools. Recently published research by the New York Equity Coalition supports this supposition. Understanding the reasons for the higher representation of these students in ET can provide insights on the background of these students for developing effective practices and programming to improve retention of this cohort. It would also provide useful information for increasing the diversity of traditional engineering programs. This paper presents initial findings from a work in progress that is part of a multi-institution study to understand the factors that influence initial matriculation into and retention in engineering technology programs.


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Dell, E., & Lucietto, A., & Cooney, E., & Russell, L., & Schott, E. (2019, February), Diversity in Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2019 CIEC, New Orleans, LA.