Recognizing the national need to advance women and minorities in engineering, Cornell Engineering created DPE in 2004 to integrate outreach, recruitment, retention, and success programs for pre-college students, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. This systems level approach allows DPE to maximize its effectiveness and impact on the composition and success of our students and faculty. Since its founding, DPE has helped to significantly expand the enrollment and graduation of underrepresented minority and female undergraduate and graduate students. Latinos represent over 20% of the undergraduate and 30% of the graduate students supported by initiatives of DPE.
The mission of DPE is to operate programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels to advance the representation, inclusion, engagement, and achievement of all members of the College of Engineering community, but especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in Engineering.
Enrollment and graduation rates of Latino students in College of Engineering have significantly increased in the last five years. Since 2009, the enrollment of Latino students in the College of Engineering has more than doubled. Additionally, the 5-year graduation rates of Latino engineering students increased from 69% for the 2004-2009 cohort to 85% for the 2009-2014 cohort. Notably, the 5-year graduation rate of Latino undergraduate students entering engineering in 2009 is greater than the graduation rate of all students that entered engineering in 2009
Still, many of the Latino students that did not ultimately graduate from the College of Engineering went on to graduate from another college within Cornell. Of the Latino students that entered the College of Engineering in 2004, 79% went on to graduate from any college within Cornell University within five years. Markedly, the 5-year graduation rate for Latino students entering Engineering in 2009 and graduating from any college within the university rose to 88%.