Working with city schools to be in the minority-recruiting 'Vanguard'
and building the engineering pool
NACME President George Campbell (left) announces
a partnership last October with RIT President Albert Simone (center)
and City School District Superintendent Clifford Janey (right).
RIT joined the Rochester
City School District and the National Action Council for Minorities
in Engineering (NACME) in a new program designed to identify and
develop engineering talent among city students.
Beginning in the fall,
RIT expects to admit annually eight to 10 students who have participated
in NACME's Engineering Vanguard Program. Vanguard scholars receive
intense academic preparation in high school and full tuition and
housing scholarships for college. Rather than relying on standardized
tests, the Vanguard program uses a rigorous assessment process
to determine potential for success.
Hispanic Americans and Native Americans make up 5.9 percent of
the nation's 2 million engineers, according to NACME. Fewer than
1 percent of the nation's freshman engineering students are minorities,
and fewer than 10 percent of graduates of engineering colleges
in the United States are from these groups. There's also a discrepancy
in graduation rates: College completion for minority engineering
students nationally is 35 percent, compared to 60 percent for
Rochester City School
District is introducing Vanguard in John Marshall, Benjamin Franklin,
Wilson Magnet, East and Edison Technical high schools this fall.
RIT could receive Vanguard students from Rochester or any other
participating high school in the country. RIT is the sixth university
to join the program.
"NACME has an impressive
track record and an outstanding reputation," said President Simone.
"The Vanguard program allows us to provide tremendous opportunities
to underrepresented students. At the same time, we take another
step toward achieving our goal of a diverse educational environment."