Engineering Program at Wright College

Students pose outside Wright College.
City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,


The Engineering Program at Wright (EPW) aims to make all students thrive in engineering and computer science, especially Black, Latino, and female underrepresented students. Specifically, the program equips Latino students with holistic support and individualized attention to accelerate their success in pursuing and completing an associate or bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science. EPW expands diversity in engineering by increasing enrollment, transfer, bachelor’s degree completion, and job placement of underrepresented students, especially Latinos.

Program Description

With the help of an NSF-HSI research inaugural grant, EPW developed a Contextualized Engineering Bridge program to lift students’ academic preparation in Math and Chemistry and increase Latino applicants’ access. It developed a holistic and programmatic approach to increase retention and transfer rates, and expanded admission to more institutions. The grant has allowed for increased partnerships with industry for internships, Latino high schools, and the Wright College Avanza program, a bilingual engineering program for Latinos.


Since inception, EPW has served 909 students of which 68% are Latinos. EPW’s Latino students are succeeding at the same rate as Black, Asian, and white counterparts. In addition, the program has achieved the following:

  • In the last three years, EPW’s Fall to Fall retention ranges from 93 to 96% and their transfer rate is 75% within two years and up to 85% within three years from admission. 
  • The Contextualized Bridge Program has served 202 students so far and 70% of Bridge participants are Latino. All Bridge participants eliminated at least one semester of remedial math and 54% were placed into calculus.
  • Current Bridge participants are building upon the success of the first cohort that were all Latino students. Those students were able to eliminate remedial math coursework and transferred within two years and go on to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

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