The primary objectives of this study were to assess engineering students’ and professional engineers’ perceptions of cultural diversity in undergraduate engineering course curriculum, gender and ethnicity-specific access to the engineering field, and the professional engineering work environment in the United States. The sample consisted of 132 undergraduate engineering students and 90 professional engineers residing in the southern part of the U.S. The participants completed two survey questionnaires. Findings suggest that both the students and engineers responded similarly about the importance of having cultural diversity courses in the engineering program. However, students perceived to a greater degree than engineers did that all qualified students have equal access to an engineering education in the country. Students noted more than engineers that the existing curriculum accentuates cultural diversity and engineering programs need to recruit more minority students. Compared to their professional counterparts, students showed a stronger belief that engineers must maintain a high level of work ethics, tended to experience high levels of job satisfaction, and were well paid.


students’ perceptions, access to engineering education



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.