Diversity

The transportation engineering program (TEP) at University of Maryland (UMD) has a strong track record in broadening the participation and attracting underrepresented new entrants to the transportation field. Close to 50% of all graduate students, who are currently enrolled in the program are female students. The TEP at UMD has also actively recruited African American, Hispanic, and female students with a number of existing institutional diversity and inclusion resources, such as the university-wide Rise Above initiative, Moving Maryland Forward grants, Women and Minority in Engineering program, and fellowship program with preference toward underrepresented students.
 
Morgan State University (MSU), a minority institution in the TPID consortium grants more bachelor’s degrees to African Americans than any other university in Maryland. In key STEM fields MSU accounts for about 58% of electrical engineering, 83% of civil engineering, and 31% of chemistry baccalaureate degrees awarded to African Americans in Maryland. It has had consistently higher percentages of women in engineering fields than the average for universities across the nation. Nationally, MSU ranks 15th among all campuses in baccalaureates awarded to blacks. It ranks 3rd in engineering, 9th in the biological sciences, and 15th in computer information sciences. As a minority serving institution, MSU is uniquely qualified to work toward the goal of diversity in the transportation professional workforce. MSU has a diverse group of faculty, staff and students involved in its research, education, and outreach activities. NTC staff and MSU faculty serve on committees and participate in conferences of minority and women’s transportation professional associations to increase members’ awareness of transportation-related degree programs at MSU. NTC disseminates announcements of transportation scholarships and fellowships (e.g., Women’s Transportation Seminar, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, and Dwight Eisenhower MIHE Fellowship) to MSU students and faculty.
 
ASU graduates the largest number of Hispanic students of any engineering program rated in the Top 50 by US News and World Report. Also, 52% of the students are women. Minority student enrollment is approximately 20,000, among which 53% are Hispanic, 21% are Asian-American, 18% are African-American, and 8% are Native American. ASU has developed a variety of programs and initiatives to encourage the participation of Hispanic students in all areas of Sciences and Engineering, such as the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute; Hispanic Mother Daughter Program; and Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement Program. ASU also has programs to attract underrepresented students to transportation engineering at an early stage through its School of Engineering’s FHWA-sponsored Summer Transportation Institute.
 
The ODU Engineering Early Advantage Program for Women (EEAP) provides engineering experience for incoming female freshmen engineering students. The EEAP program offers incoming female freshman engineering students an opportunity to learn about ODU’s engineering programs, including transportation, and engineering professions. The EEAP participants tour local industries, including work centers and laboratories. They also spend one week at the VMASC receiving hands-on training. Old Dominion University has successfully tripled the percentage of female students in engineering over the past five years.
 
The LSU-UNO consortium members outreach to a local all-girls high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to promote transportation as a potential career path in the future. Another form of outreach includes broadcasting via local radio shows, in which the consortium members participated recently to highlight transportation topics of interest to the local and surrounding community. Additionally, the LSU-UNO plan to continue student outreach activities through hands-on interactions with the high-tech driving simulator housed at LSU. The consortium will build on the experience at LSU-UNO, and expand high school outreach and radio show programs to TPID university areas.