Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Retention
Retention, Mentoring, Student Organizations

Retention Strategies

Graduate education community and structured mentoring strategies to enhance academic performance and increase the retention of URM students include:

  • Provide Structured Academic Faculty Mentoring of Graduate Students - Faculty academic mentoring is a process of helping graduate students achieve success through a relationship with a faculty mentor.
  • Graduate Student-Centered Community - Developing a structure for effective community engagement and mentoring partnership with all stakeholders (graduate students, post-docs, faculty, staff, and administrators) for production of increased number of URM in STEM PhD and postdoctoral programs.
  • Graduate Engineering Diversity Association - This type of association fosters opportunities for students to provide group discussions, reduce isolation of any group in departments where the critical mass of URM students is low, develop peer mentors, encourage academic activities, and promote a sense of community for doctoral students of color.

  • Mentoring

    Structured Graduate Mentoring Program - connecting faculty and other PhD students with incoming graduate students to provide guidance and support in the early years of graduate school.  Academic mentoring is a collaborative process of academically challenging, encouraging and guiding the student to explore his/her hidden potentials to the fullest and to excel at what that individual desires to do. The goal of mentoring activities is to help a student develop an ambition and to help shape that ambition into a reality.  A well-informed academic advisor promotes academic achievement and improved performance in major courses,motivates students to focus on excellence and builds self-confidence.  The mentoring program activities provide research opportunities for incoming students to supplement the graduate experience, encourage success, stimulate student sections of professional societies, conduct orientations and organizing activities for graduate student success, provide monthly survival activities and monitor student progress, provide counseling, advising, and referral services to students on all aspects of their graduate study, and create interconnected culture that values the satisfaction and well-being of the graduate students and their academic and professional growth.

    Student Organizations

    The EOD works closely with the student chapters of the Society of Women in Engineering (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

    Women in Engineering 

    Consistent with the Swanson School’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment for women, the EOD offers a variety of programs and initiatives to support women and to recognize the achievements and contributions of women in science and engineering.  The EOD works closely with the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Graduate Women in Engineering Network (GWEN). In addition, the office strives to combat organizational cultures that include elements of discrimination and harassment that are common barriers preventing women from reaching their full potential in graduate education and in academic and professional careers.

    Engineering Diversity Graduate Association 

    Fosters opportunities for students to provide group discussions, reduce isolation of any group in departments where the critical mass of URM students is low, develop peer mentors, encourage academic activities, and promote a sense of community for doctoral students of color.