Education & Technology Transfer Activities: 2012

Women In Science & Engineering and Minority Engineering Scholarships/Programs

 Status Complete                           View Final Report: PDF
Sequential Number ETT325
Identification Number 00041163
Matching Research Agency SDP, Women’s Programs/Industry
Principal Investigator Cecilia Elmore
Director-Student Diversity, Outreach, and Women’s Programs
Missouri University of Science and Technology
212 Engineering research Lab
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-6798
Student Involvement Significant number of minority students at Missouri S&T

Project Objective

Support will make scholarships available to minority and women students interested in engineering and science and will increase significantly the number of minority and female students that Missouri S&T can recruit to its science and engineering programs. Recipients of scholarships will also be exposed to career opportunities in transportation.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) scholarships are awarded to support female Missouri S&T students studying science and engineering.  Missouri S&T’s WISE program provides a campus focal point for increasing the number of women in science, engineering, math, and technology fields through outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts from middle school age through undergraduate levels.  WISE provides support programs such as mentoring, advising, professional/technical workshops, and social activities, with the goal of providing a rich academic and social experience for young women at Missouri S&T. 

Since the inception of this scholarship program in 2004-2005, women’s enrollment has increased in the following transportation- related fields of study:  architectural engineering-80%, chemical and biological engineering-57%, civil engineering-56%, computer science-37%, engineering management and systems engineering-35%, information science & technology-69%,  materials science and engineering-27%, and mechanical engineering-58%.  Also, the female students who have enrolled in undeclared engineering as freshman has increased by 65%, so those students have the potential to major in a transportation-related field.


Anticipated Benefits

A focus on career development in the areas of technology transfer and transportation engineering, math, science and engineering will be implemented throughout the activities sponsored by the Women In Science & Engineering Program to promote diversity and increase the number of female graduates entering our nations engineering and science workforce. To support the national science and mathematics educational agenda by ensuring that all students are mathematically and scientifically literate so they can play a leadership role in an increasingly technical world. To ultimately insure a more balanced technical workforce. It is Missouri S&T’s goal to increase the number of female and minority students. These scholarships are the beginning of the pipeline that will assist the campus in yielding those numbers.   Since 2005, overall women’s enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math majors has increased from 978 to 1327, or 36%, due largely to the increased amount of scholarship awards and pre-college recruitment activities that the University Transportation Center has helped fund.  We expect to continue this enrollment trend in order to further the strategic plan goals of the university.  Approximately 60 scholarship recipients have graduated since the inception of the program, and of those 27 have been employed in transportation-related industries. In addition, the female enrollments in several transportation-related majors have increased greatly since the program’s inception.  Examples of these increases include: Civil Engineering from 64 to100, Mechanical engineering from 55 to 87, and Architectural engineering from 35 to 63. 

The program has established a priority awarding guidelines based on a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, and the plans of the recipient to major in a transportation-related field.  With these guidelines will also come the reporting of the final outcomes- the number of students participating in the program who are finding permanent, summer, or co-op related employment in a transportation-related field. This will be requested of students when they are initially awarded the scholarship, and as they progress with each scholarship renewal.  This scholarship program in the past year has been a tremendous help in increasing female enrollment on campus to help set the all-time record of 1,732 for the 2012-2013 academic year.  We are also happy to report that these scholarships help with retention and graduation rates for women, as our 1st-2nd year retention rates have been in the 88%-92% range in the years since the scholarships were first given, and the 6-year graduation rates have increased from 67% to 74% in that same time frame. 



Project Start Date: 01/01/2013
Project End Date: 05/15/2014