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Today, I caught the last half hour of a presentation about a new project that sounds really interesting. The Social Capital Research Project at Clemson University examines the types and amount of social capital that underrepresented undergraduate engineering students have compared to other students. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot more research on underrepresented groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields in the U.S. Some examples:
- The National Academies published a report titled “Beyond Biases and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering.”
- The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) came out with “Confronting the ‘New’ American Dilemma — Underrepresented Minorities in Engineering: A Data-Based Look at Diversity“
- There are the NSF ADVANCE grants that fund research on increasing the participation of women in academic science and engineering careers
- (Please post a comment if you know of more reports like this!)
So far, most of the stuff I read about STEM is focused largely on academia while this project seems to be focused more on undergrads who may be interested in other careers besides academia and so I’m really interested in what this group finds.