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Oklahoma State University

OSU tops in Native Americans earning bachelor degrees in engineering

Fri, August 18, 2017
Chickasaw Graduate

Oklahoma State University has the highest number of Native Americans earning bachelor degrees in engineering, as well as engineering technology degrees, among all the engineering schools in North America, according to data from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). 

“We’re proud to be leading the way nationally, but what’s really important is that we’re making progress and Native American students are responding to our invitation to earn highly-skilled degrees that offer real promise for success in their chosen fields of engineering,” said Dr. Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) at OSU. 

The statistics show that OSU is tied for the top spot in the category of bachelor of science degrees in engineering with 16 Native American students, the same number as Arizona State University, which has an overall enrollment that is about three times higher than OSU.

The data, from the ASEE publication “Profiles in Engineering and Engineering Technology,” also shows that OSU is well ahead of other universities nationally that offer engineering technology degrees, with 12 Native American graduates, compared to Purdue University, which is second with three graduates.

In addition, national surveys continue to show that OSU is the leading land grant university for Native American student enrollment in the United States. The university founded the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations in 2015 to build relationships among American Indian Nations and implement initiatives across the OSU system. In 2014,the U.S. Department of Education designated OSU as a Minority Serving Institution, based on its enrollment of Native American students. 

“We’re certainly proud to join our partners in recognizing the achievement of our students,” said Elizabeth Payne, director of the Center for Sovereign Nations. “Eight of the American Indian student leaders who work in our center are engineering majors, and we are seeing a positive impact through our innovative student-to-student tutoring/mentoring program, which meets each week in our center.  Our next objective is to engage employers so these students can secure internship opportunities.”

According to data from the Office of Institutional Research and Information Management at OSU, the latest undergraduate statistics show that, as of last September, the number of American Indian students enrolled at OSU had grown by 50 percent since 2009 with a total of 2,323 enrolled last fall.