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Campus Women Lead

Winter 2011

Volume 39
Number 3

40 Years of PSEW



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Forty Years of Change: Highlights from the Data

In celebration of the Program on the Status and Education of Women’s fortieth anniversary, AAC&U commissioned a brochure outlining some of the changes that have occurred for women in higher education, in the United States, and in the world over the past four decades. The table below reflects some of the statistics highlighted in the brochure, which can be downloaded in full here.

1970s

2000s

College Enrollment

Among high school graduates, 48.8% enroll in college within one year (47.2% of men, 50.3% of women). (1976)

Among high-school graduates, 70.1% enroll in college within one year (66.0% of men, 73.8% of women). (2009)

Diversity of bachelor’s degree recipients

Of bachelor’s degrees conferred on women, 87.3% are earned by white women, 7.9% by African American women, 2.0% by Hispanic women, 1.5% by Asian or Pacific Islander women, 4.0% by American Indian women, and 1.0% by foreign-born nationals. (1976–77)

Of bachelor’s degrees conferred on women, 70.4% are earned by white women, 11.2% by African American women, 8.4% by Hispanic women, 6.7% by Asian or Pacific Islander women, 0.8% by American Indian women, and 2.5% by foreign-born nationals. (2007–08)

Undergraduate STEM degrees

Women receive 15% of bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences. (1971–72)

Women receive more than 41% of bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences. (2007–08)

Graduate degrees

Women earn 41% of master’s degrees, 6% of first professional degrees, and 16% of doctorates. (1972)

Women earn 59% of master’s degrees, 49% of first professional degrees, and 48% of doctorates. (2004)

First professional degrees

Women earn 0.9% of dentistry degrees, 8.4% of medical degrees, and 5.4% of law degrees. (1970)

Women earn 44.6% of dentistry degrees, 49.2% of medical degrees, and 47.6% of law degrees. (2007)

Doctoral STEM degrees

Women earn 3% of doctorates in agriculture and natural resources, 16% in biological sciences, 2% in computer science, 1% in engineering, 8% in mathematics and statistics, and 6% in the physical sciences. Comparable data for racial and ethnic minorities are not available. (1970–71)

Women earn 41% of doctorates in agriculture and natural resources, 51% in biological sciences, 22% in computer science, 21% in engineering, 31% in mathematics and statistics, and 30% in the physical sciences. US-born minority women earn 11% of degrees granted to women in agriculture and natural resources, 18% in biological sciences, 11% in computer science, 15% in engineering, 10% in mathematics and statistics, and 13% in the physical sciences. (2007–08)

Diversity of doctoral degree recipients

Of doctorates conferred on women, 84.3% are earned by white women, 6.0% by African American women, 1.7% by Hispanic women, 1.5% by Asian or Pacific Islander women, 0.3% by American Indian women, and 6.2% by foreign-born nationals. (1976–77)

Of  doctorates conferred on women, 62.1% are earned by white women, 8.0% by African American women, 4.0% by Hispanic women, 6.1% by Asian or Pacific Islander women, .5% by American Indian women, and 19.2% by foreign-born nationals. (2007–08)

Faculty

Women account for approximately 25% of assistant professors, 17% of associate professors, and 10% of full professors. (1974–75)

Women account for approximately 50% of assistant professors, 38% of associate professors, and 24% of full professors. (2003–04)

Presidents

Women account for 5% of college and university presidents. Comparable data for racial and ethnic minorities are not available. (1975)

Women account for 23% of college and university presidents. Among women presidents, 19% are racial or ethnic minorities. (2006)

Editor’s note: The Program on the Status and Education of Women staff would like to thank Emily Hoagland for her contributions to researching and creating the brochure.



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