ECE Broadening Participation Plan

Effective dates of Plan: March 1, 2023-April 30, 2028

Contact: Dimitrios Peroulis, Michael and Katherine Birck Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Reilly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Purdue University is a flagship R1 and public land-grant institution in Indiana, with an enrollment of nearly 50,000 students on the West Lafayette campus.  The College of Engineering (CoE) is ranked in the top 5 nationally and ECE is ranked in the top 10 in both Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Engineering (CompE) (US News and World Reports, 2022). Over the past 10 years, ECE has seen significant growth in undergraduate enrollment (~ 92%, to 1912 students), graduate enrollment (67%, to 680 students) and faculty size (18%, to 120). Undergraduates enter the CoE via a common first-year engineering (FYE) program and select a school at the end of their first year.  For the State of Indiana, 26% of high school graduates are from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (URGs), which includes American Indian or American Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander, with Black and Hispanic/Latino each representing ~ 11%, with a lower percentage students from URGs going directly to college (~ 50%) than the state average (~ 59%).  

Comparison of Fall 2022 Purdue ECE/CoE Demographics and National Avgs. (per ASEE)



% Women

% from URG

10 year growth: # of Women

10 year growth: # from URG


Purdue ECE





Purdue CoE





Purdue FYE





National Average





(on campus)

Purdue ECE
(past 5 years)






Purdue ECE
(past 5 years)






Purdue ECE





National Average





Goals, Activities, and Measurement


We define three goals related to broadening participation.

G1: Undergraduate Students

Increase the percentage of women and individuals from historically underrepresented groups in our undergraduate programs.   Our 5-year goals are to have sophomore classes which are 25% women and 10% from historically underrepresented groups and retention rates (sophomore to senior) for both groups comparable to those of our overall student body

G2: Graduate Students

Increase the percentage of women and individuals from historically underrepresented groups in our graduate program.  Our 5-year goals are to increase women/underrepresented groups in our PhD program to 22% and 5%, respectively, and in our on-campus MS program to 30% and 8%, respectively. 

G3: Faculty/Staff

Increase the percentage of women and individuals from historically underrepresented groups on our faculty.  Our 5-year goal is to improve to 20% women and 5% individuals from historically underrepresented groups.  


We define five sets of activities to facilitate the proposed goals.

A1: Recruiting students from FYE and improving their retention and success in ECE 

Correlates to G1.

Contact Person: Carla Zoltowski

Measuring Outcomes: Annual review of demographic information on incoming sophomore class and retention/progress toward graduation

  • Engineering Your Major and other recruiting events for FYE students
  • Mentor teams in experiential learning/design courses (EPICS, Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP)) related to ECE, including FYE students
  • Create FYE to sophomore ECE Bridge Program (EE and CompE)
  • Provide support for study groups/mentoring/tutoring programs

A2: Develop pathways into Purdue (K-12 and partnerships) 

Correlates to G1 and G2.

Contact Person: TBD

Measuring Outcomes: Participation numbers, participant surveys and longitudinal tracking for programs.

  • Increase ECE participation in undergraduate and pathway programs for K-12 (including summer camps) in partnership with Minority Engineering Program (MEP), Women in Engineering Program (WIEP, first of its kind in US), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and centers/initiatives
  • Expand partnerships with other institutions, including MSIs

A3: Recruit, Retain and Develop Graduate Students 

Correlates to G2.

Contact Person: Peter Bermel

Measuring Outcomes: Annual review of demographic information on admissions/ progress toward graduation

  • Increase visibility of Purdue ECE to students from diverse backgrounds through the  Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Rising Stars, and REU undergraduate research programs
  • Revise application information to better serve students from diverse backgrounds
  • Recruit graduate applicants via annual open house (including sponsored travel)
  • Project-Track MS program (team-based projects with faculty mentors)

A4: Recruit, Retain and Develop Faculty 

Correlates to G3.

Contact Person: TBD

Measuring Outcomes: Annual review of recruiting, progress toward promotion

  • Professional development events at conferences and partner institutions to foster interactions with potential candidates during graduate/post-doc studies
  • Embed DEI in faculty searches, via candidate interviews and training for committee
  • New faculty mentorship group and individual mentorship for junior faculty
  • ECE D&I Discussion group and periodic faculty training workshops

A5: Activities to Improve Climate/Culture

Correlates to G1, G2, and G3.

Contact Person: Brooke Parks

Measuring Outcomes: Annual senior exit survey, graduate student/faculty surveys

  • Annual training of graduate/undergraduate TAs, including leading diverse teams
  • ECE 300 junior seminar
  • Adopt inclusive classroom Tip Sheet in courses
  • Collaborative course activities, utilizing guidelines for modes of collaboration
  • Faculty/student/staff events