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Cal State L.A. pledges commitment to boost diversity in engineering

August 12, 2015

Cal State L.A. has joined a national initiative to increase diversity in engineering education as part of President Barack Obama’s inaugural White House Demo Day.

Dean Emily Allen of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at Cal State L.A. was one of more than 100 deans nationwide to sign a letter to partner with the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in building a more representative student-talent pipeline.

The letter dated Aug. 4 outlines the following four actions for the University:

  • To develop a concrete diversity plan for our engineering program, with input from national organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.
  • To undertake an annual equity and inclusion climate survey of faculty, students, and staff, with the goal of assessing and increasing the effectiveness of the diversity plan developed.
  • To commit to at least one K-12 pipeline activity with targeted goals and measures of accountability aimed at increasing the diversity of the student body.
  • To develop strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-Ph.D.-granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering. 

Demonstrating its leadership in increasing diversity in STEM fields, Cal State L.A. has been ranked by the National Science Foundation as the top baccalaureate institution of Latino science and engineering Ph.D. recipients among all predominantly undergraduate and master’s degree colleges and universities in the continental U.S.

The University was also recognized in the 30th edition of U.S.News “America’s Best Colleges” as among the best in the west for ethnic diversity—with a .55 diversity index based on student body ethnic backgrounds.

Cal State L.A.’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology offers a hands-on curriculum and early research opportunities to prepare students for advanced studies and a fast-paced work environment. It is home to a NASA-funded University Research Center and the largest hydrogen fueling and research facility on any university in the nation.

During the White House Demo Day, President Obama said: “And more than 100 deans at America’s engineering schools are committing to recruit and retain more diverse student bodies, building the pipeline for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs because this is something we are seeing again and again and again. We are not producing all the technical talent, all the engineers that we need. And part of the reason is because too many girls and too many young people of color are getting intimidated and winnowed out of the process, not being mentored, not being encouraged, and we deprive ourselves of the talent that we need in order for us to continue to be a dynamic, innovative economy — because that’s the part of the population that’s growing.”

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Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 24,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit, or like us at