The United States' Challenges in Science and Engineering Education: The Hispanic Factor

H. Kettani (USA)


Science and engineering education, Student retention,United States universities, Underrepresented minorities,Hispanics


Numerous statistical data indicate that science and engineering workforce in the United States is aging and nearing retirement. Moreover, various studies show that it has become increasingly difficult to attract American students to science and engineering fields. We focus in this paper on a fast growing minority segment of the American population. Accordingly, we show that the situation is particularly grim for Hispanics. They remain an untapped in resource, which could either present the solution needed to overcome this challenge, or further deteriorate the situation. The challenges of recruiting and retaining Hispanic students in science and engineering disciplines is illustrated by studying the situation at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR), a major producer of Hispanic engineers located at the United States Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The objective of this manuscript is to shed some light on the situation and suggest some solutions to this predicament that the nation is facing.

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