Promoting equity, inclusion and diversity
The College of Engineering provides an extensive portfolio of holistic programs aimed at supporting nontraditional students (such as first-generation, URM, women, transfer and veterans). Programs address all aspects of students’ academic, professional and leadership development.
First-generation student retention programs
COE’s signature retention programs are the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) and Transfer Pre-Engineering Program (T-PREP). These are residential summer bridge programs for first-generation and low-income incoming freshman and transfer students. COE also offers a suite of Scholars programs in EECS, Civil and Environmental Engineering and BioEngineering aimed at supporting primarily first-generation students through critical first-year courses specific to their major. Faculty play a key and growing role in the success of the retention programs above and extensive opportunities exist to engage with our programs.
Academic excellence programs
COE offers a robust suite of academic success programs and workshops on topics such as time management, study skills, managing stress and anxiety, etc. through The Center for Access to Engineering Excellent (“The Center”). Tutoring for 18 critical lower-division courses is offered free of charge through in addition to access to a learning specialist and a mental skills coach. Many of these workshops are provided by faculty and we aim to expand the participation of faculty in creating and delivering additional workshops that will even better prepare students.
Our mission in the COE is to educate well-rounded engineering leaders and to that end we offer a number of programs aimed at developing students’ leadership skills: LeaderShape is a 6-day retreat where students develop their mission and vision as engineers; the WILL (Women Invested in Lifelong Leadership) seminar connects students with women leaders from industry, academia and the public sector; COE provides funding and support for over 70 student organizations, through which students enhance their educational experience and leadership skills. Faculty can play a significant role by engaging with programs such as LeaderShape in a number of capacities; as faculty advisors to the student organizations; as speakers at seminars such as the WILL seminar; and many more.
Through a number of programs, COE provides students the “cultural capital” needed to navigate the professional world. We offer workshops on topics such as LinkedIn, networking, interviewing, resume, presence and confidence; we work with industry partners to provide info sessions, tech talk, hackathons and networking events to connect students with opportunities in industry; and etiquette dinners. The Momentum Speaker series, a TED Talk-style series of presentations, allows students to share their industry and research experience with their peers. Faculty can play an influential role in developing students’ professional skills by taking part programs such as Momentum Speaker series and professional workshops.
Research experience is critical for students on the academic track and also for students intending to join industry. The skills and competencies gained through research are universally valuable: teamwork, collaboration, resourcefulness, resilience, innovation. We partner with industry and donors to fund research opportunities.
Faculty are critical partners in providing research opportunities to undergraduate students and in coaching and guiding students through successful research engagements.
Outreach and yield
COE has a significant and growing number of programs aimed at increasing the number of nontraditional applicants and admits into the College. These include the Overnight Host Program for women admits in partnership with SWE; the Community College Visit Day and the Transfer Admit Visit day; Girls in Engineering, a program to encourage and support girls in pursuing STEM. Faculty can play a significant role in increasing the number of applicants and admits from non-traditional backgrounds by partnering with COE in these and future outreach and yield events.
Graduate Pathways to STEM (GPS), a partnership between Berkeley and Stanford, was created by Berkeley graduate students in 2015. GPS is one-day conference aimed at inspiring diverse, first-generation and low-income California talent to pursue advanced engineering and science degrees. Faculty speakers often highlight their own pathway to graduate school as well as emphasize the importance of diversifying the engineering field.
Berkeley Engineering Preview Days is a program in the spring semester designed for rising seniors who are interested in applying to PhD programs in engineering. Participants receive ongoing advising from the Engineering Graduate Outreach office throughout the summer and admissions cycle. Faculty are critical in helping us admit and recruit these highly competitive URM and female students to our graduate PhD program.
Graduate Diversity Welcome is a new program launched in Summer 2017 to build community and address anxiety among first year underrepresented minority PhD students. Over the course of four days, students participate in activities that include panels of faculty and staff addressing first year concerns, industry/R&D career speaker, and community building activities that include campus scavenger hunt, day trip to SF, and brunch on day 4 (Sunday). All activities include current graduate URM students. Faculty provide not only advice and reassurances to first year concerns, but also have a candid conversation with students explaining the nationwide importance of their potential and success as URM PhD students in engineering.