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TCNJ Engineering’s diversity efforts recognized with national award

 

The College of New Jersey’s School of Engineering has been named one of the inaugural recipients of an award from the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Diversity Recognition Program. The honor is given to colleges and universities for establishing an institutional infrastructure to improve diversity and inclusion in engineering education. It is the first national effort to publicly recognize institutions for their success in building a diverse engineering workforce.

TCNJ’s campuswide diversity efforts

ASEE’s decision to grant the award to TCNJ Engineering was based on the School’s Strategic Plan, which drives School-based diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as a host of cooperative initiatives across several college-wide units. For all admissions, retention, and faculty and staff recruitment efforts, TCNJ Engineering is supported by programming and assistance from: the Office of Admissions, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Office of Human Resources, and the Center for Student Success. Additionally, the School of Engineering has directly benefited from the shared resource of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant to support the careers of women faculty in STEM disciplines.

Above-average number of female Students at TCNJ’s School of Engineering

Women are traditionally underrepresented in the field of engineering. Surpassing the national averages, TCNJ Engineering has about 24 percent female enrollment and, notably, women in engineering at TCNJ persist to earning their degree with women making up 31 percent of the graduating class in 2018. The national average for female enrollment is about 20 percent and graduation about 21 percent.

“While the percentage of women studying engineering and receiving engineering degrees at TCNJ are above national averages, we know that we can and must do better,” according to Dean, Steven Schreiner.

TCNJ Engineering’s plan to further increase diversity

“This award really marks an important moment for TCNJ Engineering,” states Dean Schreiner. “TCNJ is a welcoming place for everyone, but it is time for the School of Engineering to set more specific goals for our diversity outcomes.”

The School of Engineering is pledging to raise the number of women entering engineering majors at TCNJ to 35 percent or greater by the incoming class of 2022. TCNJ Engineering will accomplish this goal by focusing on increasing the number of qualified female applicants who apply to TCNJ through outreach programs for women applicants, ensuring that they have increased exposure to our current students and environment. The school will also continue to work at retaining the women already enrolled in the program, ensuring that work and study environments are supportive ones that value and respect everyone’s contributions. New pedagogy targeting gender bias in team dynamics is currently being developed as a direct result of student feedback. Efforts to hire additional female faculty members to serve as role models will continue. The School of Engineering aims to measure the success of these initiatives with a notable increase in diversity in enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.

For more information on TCNJ’s School of Engineering and its diversity efforts, please contact the School of Engineering at engineer@tcnj.edu

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