Actively recruit

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Economics departments can actively recruit underrepresented students into the field of economics by implementing departmental strategies focused on introductory economics courses.

Students who have not traditionally identified with economics may decide not to major in economics after getting a B in an introductory economics class. (See figure 6B in this report by Claudia Goldin.) Such students may respond well to wise feedback and notes of encouragement from professors.

Remember that math ability and economic intuition are learned skills. Foster a growth mindset in your students.

A study conducted by Norma R. Cloutier and Dennis A. Kaufman, both Professors of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, demonstrated that by “(1) aggressively marketing the economics degree, and (2) allowing high achieving students to waive the macroeconomics principles requirements for an economics degree” a higher percentage of women decided to pursue an economics major.

Their study demonstrated that the students that decided to waive the macroeconomics principles class were not disadvantaged in upper level courses, and that after its implementation and heavy marketing in 1991, the gender balance for the economics degree improved significantly. “In the period 1975-1994, 26.3% of economics graduates were female, but in the period 1995-2007 the percentage female among economics graduates increased to 40.5%.”