2016;4325-4328. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591684.
Building a more diverse biomedical engineering workforce: Biomedical engineering at the university of the district of Columbia, a historically black college & university.
L A Thompson, A S Adebayo, N Zhang, S Haghani, K Dowell, D Shetty
Biomedical Engineering (BME) is a new, multidisciplinary, and rapidly growing field, however, the BME Workforce suffers from limited ethnic and gender diversity. Despite the demand and growth of this new field due to its public health importance, only 4 out of the 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide offers a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Bio-Engineering related fields. In order to contribute to a growing BME Workforce, HBCUs need to react and offer more degree-programs relevant to BME. At the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), an HBCU and the District's only public institution for higher learning, we have recently established a new, degree program: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (B.S. in BME) full-board approved in Fall 2014, with program activities initiated in Fall 2015. The educational goal of this program is to enhance the quality and diversity of the BME Workforce via student professional development, new and relevant BME courses, and BME scholarly activities (e.g., guest lectures and journal club sessions), ultimately to increase the number of ethnic minorities pursuing careers and degrees in BME. Through our program activities, we are aiming to meet the nation's demand to contribute to a diverse BME workforce, directed towards solving problems in human health. A secondary, but related goal, is to increase the diversity of STEM-related fields. This paper summarizes our initial, but encouraging, BME activity-related findings. However, this study will be longitudinal (on a multiple year time period) to observe the true outcomes of our initiative. Â© 2016 IEEE.