Engineering Program at Wright College

Students gathered in front of Wright College Campus Center
State
Illinois
Academic Level
Associate
Issue Area
Transfer
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support

Overview

The Engineering Program at Wright's mission is to provide equitable, affordable, and quality education for all students interested in engineering or CS. The EPW is a research-based program that aims to create data-driven frameworks to provide Latino and other underrepresented students access, make them feel they belong, and offer them intentional, holistic, and programmatic support to be successful engineers or computer scientists. The program's immediate goals are to:

  • Increase Hispanic students pursuing and completing an associate/bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.
  • Streamline two transitions: high school to community college and 2-year to 4-year institutions.

Program Description

Most underprepared students are underrepresented in engineering, mostly Black, Hispanic and women. To address this, a National Science Foundation- Hispanic Serving Institution (NSF-HSI) research inaugural grant launched EPW in 2018. EPW developed the "Contextualized Engineering Bridge" that lifts students' academic preparation, enhances first-year experience, increases retention and transfer rates, offers Engineering Success seminars, and expands guaranteed admission status to more institutions.

Outcome

  • Enrollment: Overall EPW enrollment increased from 25 in 2018 to 238 in 2021 (950%), and increased Latino enrollment from 32% (8) to 70% (167).
  • Eliminating Remedial Math: All Bridge participants eliminated at least a semester of remedial Math and 54% were directly placed in Calculus. Bridge participants thrived in Calculus, and transferred after 2-2.5 years. 15 Latinos out of 31 first Bridge participants completely eliminated remediation.
  • Retention: Over the course of 3 years, EPW boasts a 95% Fall to Fall retention with 85% transfer rate within 2-3 years.