2002 Vol. 11 No. 1
University of Michigan
Engineering Program Office
The University of Michigan, College of
Engineering, Minority Engineering Program Office (MEPO),
is on the cutting edge of diversity initiatives in higher
education. Under the leadership of Derrick E. Scott,
MEPO Director, the office has seen great strides in
overall under represented minority enrollment, and in
the number of under represented engineering graduates
for the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees.
"We are pleased with the progress of the
College on a number of fronts," said Scott. In the past
five years, we've set a College record in the number
of minority student B.S. engineering graduates and seen
significant rises in first-year student enrollment.
We have also seen significant improvements in the College
environment as faculty and departments have become much
more involved, in diversity educational programming."
He cited the development of departmental learning centers
modeled on MEPO's Engineering Learning Resource Center
(ELRC), where students can receive tutoring, participate
in study groups, and receive valuable professional and
academic information. "Now, we have come full circle;
our new Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Professor
Levi Thompson, was a graduate student here and benefited
from MEPO's academic and professional development services."
We are pleased and gratified that the College has chosen
him to lead undergraduate education, and we know that
he will maintain a keen focus on diversity issues,"
Scott added. In addition to the ELRC, MEPO also offers
scholarships; extensive advising services; information
and referral; academic and professional development
workshops featuring local and national speakers; and
links to national initiatives designed to enhance students'
academic, professional, and personal success. "The goal
is to create a strong academic community where students
are welcomed into the College and feel both challenged
and supported", Scott said.
goal is to create a strong academic community where
students are welcomed into the College and feel both
challenged and supported."
One of MEPO's strongest components is
its summer programs. MEPO's Summer Engineering Academy
(SEA), supported substantially by General Motors Corporation,
offers a seamless progression of on-campus summer enrichment
and academic skill-building initiatives for students
in grades 8 through incoming first-year students. A
sub-component of SEA, the Summer Engineering Institute
(SEI), which is supported largely by Ford Motor Company,
focuses on preparing incoming students for a challenging
first year. SEI initiatives include academic classes,
some with course credit; interactions with engineering
students, faculty, and staff; work experiences; and
exposure to engineering careers. Now, Scott will bring
his 15+ years of experience as MEPO Director to bear
on his professional organization. He was recently voted
as President of the National Association of Minority
Engineering Program Administrators. "We are finding
ourselves in the midst of new environments and new challenges,"
said Scott. "frankly, there are national challenges
to diversity that we will have to address strategically,
in a way that preserves valuable programs and answers
public concerns. As an organization, we will have to
brainstorm and share new strategies to address the new
realities and climate", he said. Scott is up to the
challenge. "I am working to see the day where diversity
is such a part of the fabric of this institution that
MEPO becomes unnecessary."