The paper presents a demographic analysis of college graduates in engineering technology (ET). The paper intends to investigate the graduates’ background, population, and choice of major. Graduates in ET are a much smaller population than those found in other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. Little publishing exists about who they are and how long it took to pursue their degree while examining other available demographic data. The delineation of this paper does not include computer science and computer technology programs. Several opinions exist about who these students are, where they come from, and what interests them. The paper presents a view of existing data of the most extensive undergraduate ET programs at a Midwestern university. The authors aimed to clarify a number of these opinions and determine if further study is warranted, mainly providing direction and form of that future work. The authors built their conclusions on the processed data results in such categories as basic demographics, gender, ethnicity, program changes, and graduation majors. The authors analyzed the University-provided demographics data as reported by college graduates in ET. The authors established gender and ethnic patterns and then addressed two research questions. The authors used ethnicity as a lens to explore the undergraduate experiences of female and minority graduates in ET. The first research question allowed the authors to establish the proportion of ET graduates' ethnicities and compare it to the proportion of ethnicities in the United States population. The development of a response to the second research question uses ethnicity as a lens, investigating how female ET students navigate and establish their major, while focusing on representation in their respective ethnic groups. Future research can include examining the data for insight into who applies for funding, scholarships, and other means to support themselves while pursuing a degree in technology. The paper provides the readers with the foundational elements to further explore the ET student population and determine what funding or financial needs may encourage more students to pursue a degree in ET. Using this more extensive institutional database will provide a means to further the authors’ understanding of student perception, needs, and those factors that influence their education decisions at a bachelor's degree level. The result of this work will begin to lead educators and administrators in their quest to diversify and increase student populations in ET.
STEM, engineering technology, graduates, diversity, minority, gender, ethnicity
Date of this Version
Kuleshov, Y. A., Rada, E., & Lucietto, A. M. (2021, July). Minority Graduates in Engineering Technology: Trends in Choice of Major. In 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access.