Center for Equity in Engineering
About the grant
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Center for Equity in Engineering: Engage, Educate, Enrich (E3) is funded by the NSF’s Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE) Program Track 4 (Award # 2217780).
The goal of the Center for Equity in Engineering (CEE) is to increase the enrollment, retention, and advancement rates of Hispanic students (especially Latinas) in engineering education, with a larger goal to broaden the participation of Hispanics (especially Latinas) in engineering careers. These increases will strengthen the STEM workforce of the future.
We propose to attain this goal through addressing inequities along the engineering career continuum:
- The social/family system (socio-economic status, cultural relevance, family support, early exposure, role models, etc.),
- The education system (capacity building, academic preparation, curriculum, pedagogy, opportunities for scholarships and funding), and,
- The professionalization system (professional and career development, leadership development and research, internships and employment, professional connections/networking, and mentoring).
This project seeks to supplement NSF’s goal of creating and sustaining a diverse and capable workforce by reducing or eliminating inequities in the engineering career continuum.
The Center for Equity in Engineering proposes addressing inequities along the engineering career continuum by educating faculty on best practices in curriculum & pedagogy, while providing students with opportunities for scholarships, with funding to attend conferences, and with training on how to become advocates for themselves. Through rigorous academic preparation, we seek to build capacity in the engineering workforce of the future.
- Through a year-long project, engage faculty in a re-design of a “Introduction to Engineering” courses to help students develop appropriate academic and career goals. These curriculum revisions were implemented in Mechanical, Civil, and Manufacturing engineering departments and will be implemented in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Informatics and Engineering Systems.
- Through a two-part workshop, train faculty on how to apply equity concepts in engineering classes (across several majors, both in upper- and lower-level classes), with a focus on inclusive teaching, implicit biases, and deficit vs. asset mindsets in teaching approaches. Click here for video on Teaching Approaches.
- Through a year-long project, engage faculty in discussing how to apply equity concepts in engineering classes (e.g., Introduction to Engineering courses), guided by student reflection and feedback on teaching and learning practices on the development of syllabi, teaching documents, and teaching techniques. Click here for Video on Teaching Approaches.
- Convened regional university and community college faculty at the Equity in Engineering Summit, which allowed them to meet with alumni and employers in engineering careers, as well as research and policy organizations, to understand the role of the collegiate environment in developing future careers in engineering and the STEM workforce.
- Participation in a “BOOSTCamp” that will help at-risk students transition successfully to college-level coursework in engineering.
- Participation as both a Student Learner and a Student Teacher in a faculty development program that develops students’ resiliency and agency as they learn to navigate faculty resistance to equity-minded practices and a student-centered approach for inclusive pedagogical practices.
- Participation as student leaders at the Equity in Engineering Summit, which allowed them to learn how employers view their education and experiential preparation for jobs/careers in engineering, as well as how to better represent their leadership abilities, their emotional intelligence readiness, and communication skills in an engineering/STEM focused job search.