Boosting the Number of Minorities in Engineering

A consortium formed by deans of the nation’s leading engineering schools has presented a plan to Congress to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering by 60 percent over the next 12 years.

The Consortium of Minority-Serving Engineering and Technology Programs at Urban, Public Universities proposes the enactment of legislation akin to the GI Bill for minority students in STEM fields. The plan also calls for practicing engineers to play a role in K-12 education so that minority students obtain an interest in the field. The consortium also wants incentives for industry to provide internships for minority engineering students so they can get hands-on experience.

Amir Mirmiran, a leader of the consortium and dean of the engineering school at Florida International University in Miami, stated, “As a nation we are facing a competitive disadvantage in the areas of engineering and the sciences. We can bridge that gap if we focus on recruiting students who have not traditionally gravitated to engineering, many of them minorities.”

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