WHAT: Graduation Day arrives tomorrow for 155 academic boot campers who have completed the six-week Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The students, all of whom will now be formally admitted into NJIT’s incoming freshman class, spent six weeks living in residence halls and attending classes in math and science. The program, now in its 33rd year, takes high school students from the state’s poorest districts and transforms them into bright college students who will one day work as engineers, scientists and other professionals.
WHO: Minority students from throughout New Jersey.
WHERE: Kupfrian Hall, NJIT, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd, Newark, NJ
WHY: EOP’s boot camp helps minority students transition from high school to college. “The program gives the students the intensive academic prepping they need to make the transition from high school to a rigorous university such as NJIT,” said Laurence Howell, executive director of EOP. Minorities are underrepresented in engineering, but under Howell’s leadership, NJIT has distinguished itself in the national rankings of colleges that graduate minority engineers. NJIT ranks 9th in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees in engineering to African Americans, and 16th nationally for awarding bachelor’s degrees in engineering to Hispanics, according to Black Issues in Higher Education.
BACKGROUND: Howell was named minority-engineering program director of the year by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Howell, of Wayne, was cited by the society for being a “major contributor to NJIT’s consistently high ranking in graduating black and Hispanic engineers.”