Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Class Reaches Gender Parity

Number of Incoming Women and Men in Equal Proportions



By Marcia Faye

This fall Illinois Tech not only welcomed its largest class of first-year students in 30 years, but its Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) in Armour College of Engineering also achieved its own high point: Its 2018 incoming undergraduate class reached gender parity.

“It’s impressive to me that Illinois Tech, which is considered to have a proportionally larger male student population, has drawn in so many female engineers,” says Sarah Davila (CE 1st Year). “I’m grateful to be a part of this trend toward a higher population of women in STEM; I see this as an accomplishment for Illinois Tech as a whole.”

Department Chair Brent Stephens notes that the class of 48 students is composed of mostly first-year undergraduate students along with several students who have transferred into CAEE or recently changed majors to CAEE. He notes that the increased interest in a field that educates professionals to design, build, and maintain key aspects of infrastructure around the globe is especially significant as attracting and retaining female and minority students in engineering and science remains a challenge in higher education today.

“I want to continue on with a career in engineering to help show young girls that they are fully capable of pursuing whatever career they want,” says Alyssa Thompson (ARCE 1st Year). “The even split between female and male students in my class gives me a lot of hope for the future regarding gender equality both in the workplace and in other aspects of society.”