Black Engineer Online

Over 80 percent of the students in the College of Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University are undergraduates. Their hometowns are located throughout the state of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. They also range from students whose families have earned degrees for generations to groundbreakers — first in their families to attend college and pursue careers as engineers or computer scientists.

As in all 15 Historically Black College and University Engineering Programs, North Carolina A&T works to provide a supportive environment with educational programs that close achievement gaps and boost opportunities for students from both low-income and high-income families.

For example North Carolina A&T’s pre-college bridge program, Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering, or HOME, is designed to assist students in their academic, personal, and professional development with mentoring, seminars, and workshops that seek to retain engineering and computer science students.

A&T college sources say the HOME Program, which is funded by industry partners, nurtures a sense of community for its participants at a critical juncture in their lives, transitioning from high school to college.

Achieving Great Goals

Student organizations are also vital in helping provide a sense of community.

A&T’s College of Engineering has 24 groups, with many more throughout campus, giving students the ability to tailor their Achieving Great Goals in Everything or “Aggie” experience in a way that best matches their needs and extracurricular interests.

“We also work with students to make sure they don’t overload themselves,” says Dr. Felecia McInnis Nave, who is provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Prairie View A&M University.

“Even positive activities can become a distraction,” Dr. Nave adds. “For example, they can be president of NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers), vice president of the American Civil Engineering Society, and engaged in student government associations, and before they know it, they’re struggling to find time to get on with their academic studies. So we work with them on balance, being a little more deliberate in activities they choose to better align with the career choices they’ll make for a corporate career.” read more