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Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
100 Institute Road
Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-2280
Phone
(508) 831-5000
Email address
admissions@wpi.edu
School Information
"Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865 to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge in ways that are most beneficial to society. Today, WPI holds firm to its founding mission to provide an education that balances theory with practice. The university’s curriculum features a flexible, rigorous program that is project-based and globally engaged, aimed at quality experience and a positive impact for the communities it partners with. WPI faculty members work with students on interdisciplinary research seeking solutions to important and socially relevant problems, both on campus and at more than 50 project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe." The university enrolls over 4,600 undegraduate students, employs over 500 full-time faculty, and offers over 50 degree programs. (Source: https://www.wpi.edu/about) (Source: https://www.wpi.edu/about/facts?field_category_tid=41)
General Information
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has taken steps to implemented critical race theory in its training. The university announced that it will be implementing mandatory anti-racism training. However, the university has not announced the form of the training or its scope. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • WPI's "Inclusive Excellence Division/School Actions" states that it would "Remove barriers to enrollment for underrepresented students of color, low-income students, and first generation students."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Mandatory Anti-Racism Training.
  • On February 13, 2023, WPI's Morgan Teaching and Learning Center announced a faculty workshop titled "Accomplices in the Classroom: Social Justice- and Anti-Racism-Informed Teaching," which took place on March 3, 2023 and was described as follows: "Social justice in higher education has evolved to mean creating teaching and learning environments that support all students equitably and seeking to address potential gaps among students based on race-ethnicity, gender identity, religion, ability, or learning potential. Yet, to discuss social justice in higher education we first must face racism within the academy."
Disciplinary Measures
  • WPI launched the Bias Response Program (BRP) in order to provide an “equitable, inclusive, and anti-oppressive community.”
Program and Research Funding
  • WPI's "Inclusive Excellence Division/School Actions" states that it would "Build WPI’s academic DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] capabilities by promoting "socially just research and scholarship opportunities."
  • On May 18, 2018, WPI News announced that the Davis Educational Foundation awarded WPI researchers a $240,000 grant which would support teaching "WPI students how to identify and address bias and work in groups in ways that promote equity, preparing them for an increasingly diverse workforce."
  • WPI describes several of its Social Justice Initiatives and state, "we work every day to increase our engagement with social justice through research, teaching, projects, and community engagement—critical to the mission of The Global School at WPI."
Resources
  • WPI's "Inclusive Excellence Division/School Actions" states that it would "Build WPI’s academic DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] capabilities by promoting diverse pedagogy" and "culturally responsive teaching."
  • WPI's Gordon Library provides an "Exploring Bias" guide which is an "overview for identifying underrepresented voices and communities within research" and includes an article titled "Algorithms of Oppression."
  • WPI's Gordon Library provides a "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging" guide.
  • The Morgan Teaching and Learning Center's "Communities of Practice" at WPI includes the "Integration of Social Justice and STEM" and "Alternative Models of Assessment/ 'Ungrading'."
  • On February 1, 2023, WPI's Morgan Teaching and Learning Center published a list of "workshops and seminars, an open-access learning module, podcast series, and other resources for listening, learning, and taking action toward anti-racism in teaching and learning spaces."
Symbolic Actions
  • WPI created the Sustainable Inclusive Excellence (SIE) Action Plan to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and racial justice for marginalized communities.
  • The Social Science and Policy Studies Department Faculty and Staff published a document titled "There is No Place for Racism in SSPS" and stated the following: "For many of us, there is no way to know the anger and anguish caused by decades of barely veiled institutionalized racism. We also cannot fathom a lifetime of suffering from insidious and institutionalized injustice. We acknowledge that many of us have come to our privilege unfairly; we can be who we are without having our identity or intentions questioned because of the color of our skin."
Last updated April 25th, 2023
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