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Chapter 5

Undergraduate Education: The Role of 4-Year Institutions

Improved access to higher education is not only important to meeting the Nation's needs for an informed workforce, it is also an essential avenue for access to opportunities in science and engineering as well as to improvements in quality of life. This chapter examines the role of 4-year institutions in meeting these important goals. Earlier chapters present the context for this review.
This chapter examines both the educational process and its outcomes in undergraduate education at 4-year institutions. Focus on the process includes a review of changes in enrollment at 4-year institutions, the attendance patterns of undergraduates, course-taking patterns of students intending to pursue studies in science and engineering fields, characteristics of persons with disabilities, and characteristics of the faculty teaching undergraduates. Examination of the outcomes focuses on the degrees awarded by 4-year institutions and their distribution among target groups and across disciplines and institutions.
Process of Undergraduate Education
Persons With Disabilities
Faculty Teaching Undergraduates
Sidebar: Where Minorities Earn Their Degrees
Sidebar: Gender Differences in Students Leaving Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
Sidebar: Why Students Leave Science, Mathematics, and Engineering: Minority Students
Sidebar: Stereotype Vulnerability: Effects on Test Performance
Sidebar: Patterns For Success
Sidebar: International Comparisons of Women's Participation in Higher Education in Science and Engineering

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