Kennesaw State engineering college earns national recognition for diversity efforts

 

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 21, 2022) — The Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SPCEET) at Kennesaw State University has been recognized for its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

After a competitive application process, SPCEET is one of nine U.S. colleges recognized this year under ASEE’s Diversity Recognition Program. The bronze-level recognition, currently the ASEE’s highest honor, is awarded for a three-year term to colleges with a high degree of focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Not only does this recognition allow us to celebrate the progress we have made in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion, but it holds us accountable to keep improving,” said Roneisha Worthy, associate professor of environmental engineering and member of the SPCEET Diversity Committee. 

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Some of the qualifications for the designation include having a diversity, equity and inclusion plan that creates programs to support underrepresented populations; conducting at least one K-12 or community college outreach activity; and having the ability to systematically measure the outcomes of the plan’s implementation.

SPCEET’s action items for the first and second quarter of 2022 include forming a student diversity committee to work with Dean Ian Ferguson, scheduling training for search committee members, and creating a website to highlight the college’s diversity initiatives.

“Our college has made significant strides in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and has increased our numbers of underrepresented students, faculty and staff,” said Ferguson. “I look forward to seeing these efforts be embraced by our community and what consequential changes we will continue to make to ensure DEI is woven in our teaching, research and service.”

The 2020 ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology report ranked SPCEET seventh in the country for total bachelor’s degrees awarded to African American students. In the fall of 2021, non-white students made up 54.6 percent of SPCEET’s student body. Additionally, 43.5 percent of the college’s faculty are non-white, and 27.4 percent are female.

The University was also recently recognized among top universities in the country for degrees earned by minority students. 

“Complacency is not an option, and innovation is our greatest asset,” Worthy said. “With the motivation to implement new DEI strategies, we can increase the feeling of belonging within our campus community, which will certainly translate into student success.”

Sonia Toson, interim vice president of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence and chief diversity officer at KSU, said she is proud of SPCEET's efforts and this recognition.

"SPCEET’s purposeful efforts to foster a diverse, inclusive, and​ academically rigorous environment contribute significantly to KSU’s inclusive excellence and student success goals," Toson said. "SPCEET has been intentional about not only serving current KSU students but also working to establish K-12 pipelines of underrepresented students, thereby positively impacting the entire field of engineering and engineering technology." 

– Abbey O’Brien Barrows
Photos by Jason Getz


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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