BOISE, Idaho — The American Society for Engineering Education has named Boise State University as a recipient of their Bronze Award Diversity Recognition Program for the university's efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion in the engineering field.
Boise State has seen a 36% increase in enrollment of Hispanic students and a 28% increase for female student enrollment since 2014. Zuly Lapa, an engineering student at the school, says she hopes more women try out her degree.
"I decide to go into computer science and little bit of robotics, and that's when I started falling in love," Lapa said. “We need more women in STEM, I feel like everybody across the world is with that.”
The push for inclusive classrooms is mirroring the push by STEM-related jobs out in the community. Diana Garza, Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering says the importance of diversity is stressed at engineering career fairs.
"It's such a male dominated field and we know it can be especially intimidating to a female stepping in, so we started working on how to get more females living on campus, we’ve got a engineering residential college," said Garza. "It's really a workforce issue, really preparing our students to enter a workforce that's culturally open and acceptable as well as global. Engineering is a very global industry.”
While the Engineering Department has made progress increasing female and Hispanic student enrollment, officials believe there is still room to grow. The department is hoping to earn a Silver Award in three years, when the Bronze Award status ends.