Newswise — The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) has recognized Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science as a national leader in diversity in engineering. The ASEE recognized the college with its highest award – bronze level – for its commitment to inclusive excellence.
The ASEE Diversity Recognition Program (ADRP) was created in 2019 “to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs.” The recognition program is the result of the ASEE Deans Diversity Pledge, which has now been signed by more than 220 of ASEE’s 330-member engineering colleges.
The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science received this distinction through its demonstration of commitment to supporting underrepresented groups in engineering; regularly assessing the composition, policy, culture and climate related to underrepresented groups in engineering; providing programming that inspires and encourages students in K-12 or community college to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields in postsecondary education; and developing an action plan for continuous improvement.
“Engineering is a creative field that requires people of diverse talents, expertise and perspectives to solve humanity’s greatest challenges in an increasingly complex world,” said Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean, the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Our ability to achieve ambitious goals can only be accomplished by cultivating an environment that allows every person to feel supported, valued and successful. Only then will we have the greatest impact on our society. We are honored to receive this important distinction from the American Society of Engineering Education.”
The rigorous process was undertaken by 21 colleges who submitted applications to the ASEE last fall. Each application was assessed by three reviewers using a rubric drawn from the ADRP guidelines in addition to an interactive panel discussion.
The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science is home to an impressive and diverse cohort of 17 female faculty members and administrators. In addition, efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity have resulted in the college’s engineering programs consisting of 18.83 percent undergraduate female students; 25.94 percent master’s female students; and 24.64 percent doctoral female students that include underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
The college’s Women in Engineering and Computer Science student group includes 105 members and offers weekly activities focused on professional development, mentoring by professional female scientists/engineers and by senior student peers, scholarship opportunities, academic support and social activities. Student demographics of this group are 34 percent white, 27 percent Hispanic, 19 percent black and 14 percent Asian.
The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science also promotes and supports diversity-based student professional organizations and technology-based student clubs including the Society for Hispanic Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and a student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Club. These student organizations provide diversity platforms for students to share and learn cultural differences and to enrich their university experiences.
FAU also is the most racially, culturally and ethnically diverse university in Florida. In 2016, the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science was awarded a Title III Hispanic Serving Institution STEM Articulation grant from the United States Department of Education. This ongoing project serves as a STEM pipeline in collaboration with two local state/community colleges. Together, the three institutions are promoting the recruitment of Hispanic and low-income students who matriculate from the state colleges where they complete their A.A. degree and then enter FAU to complete a B.S. degree in computer science and related fields. This project assists students at every level as they transition from a state college to FAU to ensure a more diversified and successful technological workforce.
Founded in 1893, ASEE is a global society of individual, institutional and corporate members. ASEE seeks to be the preeminent authority on the education of engineering professionals by advancing innovation, excellence and access at all levels of education. ASEE engages with engineering faculty, business leaders, college and high school students, parents and teachers to enhance the engineering workforce of the nation. ASEE is the only professional society addressing opportunities and challenges spanning all engineering disciplines, working across the breadth of academic education, research and public service.
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About FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science:
The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science is internationally recognized for cutting edge research and education in the areas of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI), computer engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, civil, environmental and geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering, and ocean engineering. Research conducted by the faculty and their teams expose students to technology innovations that push the current state-of-the art of the disciplines. The College research efforts are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Education (DOEd), the State of Florida, and industry. The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science offers degrees with a modern twist that bear specializations in areas of national priority such as AI, cybersecurity, internet-of-things, transportation and supply chain management, and data science. New degree programs include Masters of Science in AI (first in Florida), Masters of Science in Data Science and Analytics, and the new Professional Masters of Science degree in computer science for working professionals. For more information about the College, please visit eng.fau.edu.
About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit fau.edu.