Document Type

Conference Paper

Version Deposited

Published Version

Publication Date


Conference Name

ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


The research project described in this paper is titled “Rethinking Engineering Diversity, Transforming Engineering Diversity (REDTED),” which is part of the National Science Foundation, Revolutionizing Engineering Department (RED) grants. The project is in its first year and therefore what is described in this paper will be a brief overview of the project and some of the work done during the first year. The proposed research is to explore how the representation of women and Underrepresented Minority (URM) students and historically underserved groups will be increased in an engineering department by deploying a multi-pronged approach. The approach includes curricular and extra-curricular reform, which is targeted at the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Rowan University and includes: a) Radically changing admission standards to promote excellence; b) Enhancing the perception and understanding of diversity and equality among students, faculty and administrators to create a more inclusive environment; c) Developing Advocate and Allies Mentoring Program for first year, and transfer students; d) Transforming existing engineering curriculum of second and third year from a narrow sub-discipline based approach to a more inclusive, system-based approach; e) Enriching students’ aspirations by providing successful and diverse role models from industry and academia; and f) Developing a model for inclusion of diverse students. The study is unique in that the definition of diversity is expanded to include both visible and invisible aspects. It also takes a comprehensive approach in making engineering more appealing to a more diverse population while also making sure that the diverse students who do choose to pursue engineering find an inclusive and welcoming climate. The first year of the study has been devoted to building partnerships and developing a consistent message. In addition, surveys of students and faculty to get baseline data on the attitudes to inclusivity have also been conducted to inform the strategies to be employed. In addition, faculty workshops to begin the process of modifying the curriculum is also being conducted. In addition, the student peer mentoring program and its structure is also being developed and student workshops are being conducted to develop peer mentoring skills.


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