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Engineering FIGs work to support minority and first-generation students, but students feel more could be done

July 05, 2019 / Estey Chen

For new admits to the College of Engineering, peer-led clustered courses known as Engineering First-Year Interest Groups seek to help develop strong study skills, a sense of community, and connect to upper-class undergraduate mentors. However, some students feel they are an imperfect solution to the problem of effectively supporting underrepresented students. First-generation engineering students and engineering students of color face unique challenges that E-FIG peer educators are not always equipped to solve. Joining a FIG is optional for most first-year students, but students admitted directly to the College of Engineering must participate in an Engineering FIG (E-FIG). E-FIGs include Engineering 101 lecture covering introductory topics relevant to engineering.