The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds ADVANCE with the goal of increasing the representation of women in academic science and engineering careers. At UTEP, the ADVANCE mission is twofold: 1) to value and build a talented, diverse faculty and recognize that a collegial, productive environment can be created for anyone and everyone, and 2) to understand that organizational commitment and communication are vital to the realization of this mission.
The UTEP ADVANCE program directly involves eighteen departments in four colleges and is organized into three major components: Policy and Recruitment, Faculty Development, and Collaborative Leadership. Evaluation supports these components through formative and summative internal assessments, a semi-annual review by an internal Action Board, and an annual review by an external Advisory Board.
Our initiative is built upon efforts and processes already in place in fall 2003. As the nation’s only major research university serving a student population that is predominantly Mexican-American, UTEP has become a national model for access and excellence. In recognition of our success in creating educational opportunities for a population that has been traditionally underrepresented on U.S. college campuses, the NSF designated UTEP as a Model Institution for Excellence (MIE), one of only six in the country. The goal of MIE and other programs, such as the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), is to increase the numbers of students preparing for careers in engineering, technology, and the sciences.
UTEP’s commitment to diversity is also reflected in campus programs that address the unique needs and concerns of women students, staff, and faculty. These include the Women’s Advisory Committee to the President, created in 1996 and The Faculty Mentoring Program for Women (FMPW), established in 2000. Recognizing that non-traditional students, staff, and faculty often have work and family responsibilities, UTEP also offers affordable on-site day care through the University Heights Early Learning Center. The Student Resource Center provides a wide range of services, including programs that address gender equity.