The Hopper-Dean Foundation has awarded $2 million over two years to UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in support of diversity initiatives in computer science. The grant includes funds to expand the Transfer-to-Excellence (TTE) Summer Research Program, hosted by the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science. The funds will support annual cohorts of community college students studying computer science. These students will intern in the labs of Computer Science faculty, be mentored by graduate students in the field, and reside on the UC Berkeley campus. The grant proposal was written by E3S Associate Director of Education, Nicole McIntyre.
TTE seeks to inspire California community college students to transfer, pursue research opportunities, and ultimately complete Bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering. This is achieved through nine weeks of hands-on research experience in the laboratories of UC Berkeley professors, mentorship from graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, personal admissions advising, and participation in professional development seminars. Of the program participants thus far, 93% have been from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering, including women, Pell grant recipients, underrepresented ethnic minorities, first generation students, students with disabilities, and veterans. To date, 94% of past participants have transferred to a four-year university to complete a degree in science or engineering. 59% of those students have matriculated to UC Berkeley.
Given the prior success of the TTE program, we hope that this expansion will lead to higher transfer rates for community college students interested in computer science, and an increase in the socioeconomic, racial, and gender diversity of the EECS Department.