Experiential Education

Can we increase diversity in
science and engineering fields?

Broadening Participation
in Engineering Program

CAER has partnered with the University of Kentucky College of Engineering to established a research-based mentoring program with funding from the Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The BPE mentoring program is designed to increase the number of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students involved in undergraduate research and graduating with an engineering degree.

Hispanic or Latino
6%
American Indian or Alaskan Native
.2%
Asian
21%
Black or African-American
5%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
.2%
White
67%
More Than One Race
1.6%

Employed scientists and engineers by ethnicity, and race: 2015 (Source: National Science Foundation).

Program Goals

The program is available to incoming African American, Hispanic, or Native American engineering students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and has three main goals:

  • To encourage African American, Hispanic and Native American students to choose engineering and help them graduate with engineering degrees
  • To help these students acquire the skills they need to become engineering professionals, academics, leaders and role models
  • To investigate if mentoring in research centers offers advantages over mentoring in traditional engineering departments

These students are matched with research mentors at UK CAER and academic and faculty advisors at UK College of Engineering. They are given access to a number of university resources in order to develop skills needed for a successful entry into the field of engineering: study, research, and communication skills, management and outreach expertise.

Additionally, program participants have the opportunity visit to CAER and hear from principal researchers and group leaders about the work done at the center, meet possible mentors, and tour the facilities.

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