SIU gets national recognition for its diversity efforts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU gets national recognition for its diversity efforts

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently received national rankings for its diversity efforts.

The university was featured in the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

The magazine announced its annual Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers, where SIU earned recognition in 29 undergraduate categories.

One of the categories was engineering-related degrees among African Americans and Native Americans. 

Engineering student, Nigel Cardriche is the president of the National Society of Black Engineers, and said hearing the news is mind blowing.

“I know most of those guys and females that graduated," Cardriche said with excitement. "It’s definitely a great thing to hear.”

For engineering student Jenisha Sims, also apart of NSBE, diversity was one of the factors she looked at when searching for colleges.

"Basically one of the reasons why I came here because this place is very diverse with their engineering program, so I was interested, so come to find out it was very true," Sims said.

It’s a recognition associate chancellor for institutional diversity, Linda McCabe Smith said the university should be proud of.

“They look at not only the number of students who come in, that is recruitment, but also how we’re graduating those students," Smith said. "So engineering really became one of the first as far as the ranking is concerned, out of the 29th of 100. SIU was 29th and  that’s a big deal for us.”

Smith said it's a it’s a commitment from the entire campus, to not only diversify the campus, but for students to feel included.

“And that’s a big big part of this,” Smith explained. “We don’t get to retention, unless we feel included.”

For Sims and Cardriche, the word diversity is something that goes beyond their college years.

“The more diversity you have in school, the more you will be prepared for life in general,” Sims said. “Rather than being prepared for your career, you’re being prepared for life in general.”

“Diversity is just a beautiful thing,” Smith said. “Because there’s not just one race in this world. We’re all diverse, we’re all different. And we should all come together and try to make this world a little bit better.”

The rankings are based on the 2013-2014 academic year's statistics. The university also recently won the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for its fourth consecutive year.

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