ECCO Center

The Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities (ECCO) Center at RIT is dedicated to expanding the representation of AALANA engineers and preparing students for leadership roles within the engineering profession.

The ECCO Center —Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities—provides diversity initiatives and programs devoted to increasing the number of underrepresented African American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) student engineers in the college. Supporting successful graduation rates, providing community service opportunities, and preparing these students for leadership roles within the engineering profession.

A series of programs and events throughout the academic year will be committed to enhancing the educational experiences of the AALANA engineering students while providing student networking and relationship building opportunities.


The African American, Latino American, and Native American (AALANA) population of students in engineering have traditionally been underrepresented. The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT noted, 5.4% Hispanic, 6.9% Asian, 3.1% African-American, 1.8% mixed race, 24% unknown, .2% American Indian in the 2014 fall enrollment class. ECCO exists to address the underrepresentation of these populations of students, with a particular focus on African American and Hispanic students in engineering.

ECCO on the Move

An early move-in experience for Kate Gleason College of Engineering incoming African American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) engineering students.
This is a unique early move-in experience held before RIT’s freshmen orientation, to prepare students for triumph and increase self-reliance! Students get to move in early, become familiar with engineering faculty and lab facilities and make new lifelong friends. Current AALANA engineering students guide and facilitate the program activities.
This program is for KGCOE incoming freshmen and transfer AALANA students in the following engineering majors: Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, Industrial, Chemical, Microelectronics, Biomedical, and Exploration.

Contact with any questions.

ECCO Experience

The ECCO Experience is a fun, informative and social overnight experience for accepted Kate Gleason College of Engineering African American, Latin American, and Native American (AALANA) engineering students held in advance of the RIT Accepted Student Open Houses.

It is critical to restructure our ECCO Experience Overnight Program, due to the unprecedented world challenge of COVID-19. The ECCO Center is dedicated to creating a lasting community for our incoming AALANA students, alongside our current ECCO members. As a means of cultivating our community during this time, the ECCO Center has created a virtual ECCO Experience for accepted AALANA students in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering ECCO Center.

The dates for the 2021 ECCO Experience are:

  • Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4:00-5:00pm
  • Saturday, April 17, 2021, 5:00-6:00pm

The program will take place using Zoom. You can connect with Zoom via desktop or mobile application. By using Zoom, no account is required, and instructions for connecting will be contained in the event link.

We will cap each session at 60 participants. Registration is required. We ask participants to register and submit questions to us by using this form.


AGENDA (with ECCO Student Panel)

  • Welcome and Introductions ECCO, Dr. Venessa Mitchell, Director
  • How does ECCO support your academic and professional journey?
  • Academic Advisors – sharing tools to be successful, how they work to support students’ achievement at RIT
  • 365 Days Ago – a diverse academic level of students sharing their experience
  • My Co-op Journey Experience – students share where and that they gained while on co-op
  • Questions & Answers

Student Spotlight

Roxette Burgos '22

"I think what continues to draw me into engineering is that it's complex and whether you're doing something big or small, you're making an impact."

View More about Roxette Burgos '22

Erica Coles '23

Erica Coles '23 is a fourth year student in the computer engineering program. She plans to combine her skills in computer engineering with her creative and artistic abilities.

View More about Erica Coles '23

Jerry R. Legros '22

"After I graduate I am looking to gain more knowledge in the world of manufacturing. Eventually, I would like to learn both the technical aspect and the business side to one day become a plant manager...

View More about Jerry R. Legros '22

Partnership Programs

Atlanta University Center Dual Engineering Program

The mission of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program is to significantly increase the number of minority engineers who are globally aware, socially engaged, and well equipped for scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical careers. In collaboration with a wide array of corporations, engineering schools, and other partners, the Consortium-wide program offers services that complement those provided by its member institutions: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The Atlanta University Center Consortium is the world’s oldest and largest association of historically Black colleges and universities.

The Consortium is a vibrant intellectual community with a long tradition of scholarship, service and community engagement.  Designed for students at select liberal arts colleges who decide to enter the field of engineering, and who, after completing three years (through the junior year) at their liberal arts college, transfer into most of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering programs. Most students accepted for this program have achieved at least a B average, with grades of A or B in their calculus, calculus-based physics, and chemistry courses.

Student Organizations

Student chapters of the following professional organizations have a variety of events throughout the academic year and provide students with great networking opportunities.

Executive Board


If you would like to be added to our mailing list, or have any questions, please contact us.

Building ENG (17) Room 2641/2643
77 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603