WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been listed on The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine’s 2006 national "Publisher’s Pick List" for providing significant academic opportunities for Hispanic students.
Hispanic Outlook is the only Hispanic educational magazine for the higher education community. Its "Publisher’s Picks" recognizes colleges and universities that offer Hispanic students "a solid chance of academic success," says publisher José López-Isa. "One of the defining elements of life in the United States is that here it is never too late to return to college. That’s a good thing, as new economic realities demand an increasingly well-educated work force with cutting-edge skills."
Because African American, Latino, and American Indian populations have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), WPI provides a wide range of educational and career opportunities for students of color. WPI’s Office of Diversity Programs was established in 1993 to assist in the recruitment and retention of students of color.
"I am pleased that WPI has been recognized for its efforts to provide educational opportunities to Hispanic students," said Calvin Hill, assistant dean of students and director of diversity programs. "WPI has been able to provide underrepresented students with a worldview that involves STEM disciplines and careers, and in the process, to help reduce the educational achievement gap that exists for underrepresented students, especially those pursuing STEM careers."
The Office of Diversity Programs runs the Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program (EMSEP), a retention program for students of color; cooperates with other WPI departments to support students of color during their enrollment, works with campus organizations and departments to provide cultural events for the community, and serves as a resource to the campus for issues regarding diversity and inclusion of people of color.
"The academic success of Hispanic students is a collaborative effort," said Tiana Carrasquillo, WPI’s assistant director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment. "It is essential to have the commitment and collaboration of all departments, faculty and staff. At WPI, students feel supported and can count on members of the community like they would their own family."
WPI is committed to helping high school students of color learn about opportunities in the fields of engineering, science and technology. The university encourages student groups to visit campus and learn about educational opportunities and programs on campus. In addition, the university coordinates community service programs with the Kids 2 College Program, and the Friendly House community center in Worcester.
During the past year, members of the WPI admissions staff reached out to Hispanic students by attending the National Hispanic College Fair in Hartford, Conn., visiting local UPWARD bound and GEAR UP programs, and participating in several group travel events sponsored by the New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College. Last fall, the university welcomed prospective students to campus for WPI Diversity Visit Day to learn about academic programs, meet current students, tour campus, and envision themselves at WPI.
For more information about diversity programs at WPI, visit the Office of Diversity Programs Web site.