Diverse Issues in Higher Education has recognized Clemson University as the 20th top producer of African-American engineering undergraduates.
Clemson's Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) is credited with maintaining Clemson's forward momentum in graduating African-American engineers.
“Clemson is making strides in diversity and inclusion,” PEER and WISE Director Serita Acker said. “Our office has an impact on that. It’s a welcoming place. Minorities and women know they can come here and transition and become a part of the overall Clemson family.”
The program features juniors and seniors who mentor incoming freshmen and sophomores. The encouragement of their peers helps incoming students transition from smaller settings to the large and diverse university community. The academic and social support keeps students on track while they adjust to Clemson life.
“Sometimes all students need are a few words of encouragement and some assurance to help them feel like they belong,” Clemson Chief of Staff Max Allen said. “PEER helps fill that role for minority engineering students.”
Clemson rose in the rankings from 24th in 2015 and 33rd in 2014. Among primarily white institutions, Clemson ranked 12th. Engineering is an in-demand field, yet the National Society of Black Engineers reports that African-Americans only hold 4 percent of the engineering degrees awarded by American universities.
“Our rise in these rankings is a reflection of the hard work being done by many in the college and across the university to enroll and graduate an increasingly high-quality, diverse student body,” Clemson President James Clements said. “In order for U.S. industry to remain a global innovation leader, universities must graduate more engineers, including more minority and women engineers. Clemson is committed to addressing this national challenge through programs such as PEER.”
201 Sikes Hall
Clemson, SC 29634