Sample Letter of Committment to Join the 50K Coalition
The 50K Coalition
205 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
Dear Mr. Morgan:
As XXX of the (name of organization), I strongly support (name of organization) membership in the 50K Coalition. I believe that this coalition of professional engineering societies, higher education institutions, and corporations has the capacity and expertise to increase the diversity of engineering school graduates significantly.
(name of organization) is committed to broadening participation in STEM and engineering, as demonstrated by our (list 1 or 2 current programs/initiatives to achieve diversity in engineering):
(name of organization) plans to join the (name one of the two Action Network Groups you will join, e.g., Community College Linkages ANG or Undergraduate Student Support & Retention ANG – see description below), participate in the 50K coalition’s annual convenings, join in 50K Coalition webinars, and collect and report data on the programs mentioned above.
Optional info, if it’s available: The following staff members (names, titles, roles, and responsibilities of staff members) will be your contact point and participate in 50K Coalition activities.
The leadership of (name of organization) is committed to the work of the 50K Coalition. I do not doubt that our participation will support the 50K Coalition and its members to make noteworthy progress in broadening BIPOC and women’s participation in STEM and engineering that the nation and the engineering community urgently need.
Description of the 50K Coalition Action Network Groups
The following are the agreed-upon agenda items upon which the 50K Coalition’s Action Network Groups will take collaborative action towards achieving the national goal of producing 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually by 2025:
Undergraduate Support and Retention
This agenda item considers four subareas intended to increase our coalition member college and universities’ ability to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate more women and underrepresented students:
- Recruitment and Admission
These activities comprise culturally relevant, data-driven targeted recruitment of women and underrepresented students from traditional (high schools) and non-traditional sources, including community colleges and undeclared students. It includes increasing engineering enrollment by reviewing and broadening admissions criteria to consider non-cognitive factors.
- Retention and Support Services
Retention and Support Services involves Intentional support of women and underrepresented engineering students, focusing on the first-to-second year and transfer students. Activities may include mentoring, early-alert services, summer bridge, and first-year programs. Data-driven efforts to track, identify and mitigate factors contributing to achievement gaps also fall into this cluster. The overall focus here is on supporting students with less emphasis on “weeding out.”
- Curriculum and Pedagogy
This sub-cluster seeks to evaluate and reform engineering curricula to address what is required for 21st-century learning modes and skills. These modes and competencies include utilizing pedagogical best practices, instilling growth mindsets in students, and reforming the engineering curricula’ pace and pathways.
- Faculty Development
This sub-category comprises initiatives that increase faculty diversity while raising awareness and training about diversity and inclusion. Faculty development activities may include; 1) uncovering unconscious bias and stereotype threats; 2) incentivizing great teachers and increasing awareness of faculty with excellent or poor track records in teaching and mentoring underrepresented students.
Community College Linkages
These activities build intentional linkages between community colleges and colleges of engineering as a critical component of the engineering graduate pipeline. Specific initiatives may include; 1) early advising, 2) an increase in articulation agreements to ensure course alignment, 3) scholarships and other financial support for transitioning students, 4) increasing engineering student chapters at two-year institutions, and 5) “two-by-two” programs between two- and four-year colleges.