(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Aug. 4, 2015) California State University, Northridge is one of more than 100 universities nationwide who are lauded for their efforts in diversity in engineering education in an American Society for Engineering Education letter released today during the White House’s inaugural Demo Day.
The ASEE letter lists the deans from all 102 universities nationwide, including CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean S.K. Ramesh, and the document calls out the gains in participation in engineering by women, Latinos, African-Americans and Native Americans throughout the most recent decades, but that there is more work to be done.
Ramesh has long sought increased inclusion for underrepresented groups into the STEM fields since he came to CSUN in 2006, and touts the university’s previous involvement in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, and the Minority Engineering Program model that was established at CSUN in 1968 before it spread nationally. One recent success story is the Teaching to Increase Diversity in STEM initiative, funded by the Helmsley Trust under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the California Career Pathways Trust grant to introduce K-14 students to high-wage, high-growth career fields. Another triumph comes from a partnership with Glendale Community College and College of the Canyons in the Attract, Inspire, Mentor and Support Students program that is a part of a $5.5 million Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. AIMS2 features faculty and peer mentoring, tutoring and advisement, along with social activities and participation in summer research projects.
“The AIMS2 program received national recognition from Excelencia in Education in 2014 and has served a total of 187 students to date in five cohorts (approximately 67 percent Latina/o),” Ramesh said. “This includes 100 first-time transfer students at CSUN, 45 students at GCC and 42 students at COC. Students in this program are supported with stipends to motivate and inspire them to succeed and have access to special mentoring and advisement by faculty, tutoring and peer mentoring, social activities, field trips and opportunities to take part in undergraduate research projects. Students in the cohorts have recorded higher per-term units completed, per-term and cumulative GPAs and next-term persistence rates compared to their non-participant student counterparts. As a result program completion rates continue to improve and have exceeded targets for every year of the grant.
“I am confident that CSUN’s efforts through these collaborative programs will lead to larger, more inclusive pool of STEM graduates.”
For more information, please visit about the White House Demo Day.