SECME was established in 1975 as the Southeastern
Consortium for Minorities in Engineering by the Engineering Deans at six southeastern universities: University of Alabama, University of Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee and Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). In 1997, the name was changed to SECME Inc. to better represent the territories we serve today, which extend to schools, universities, science- and technology-based business and industry, and public and private agencies in 16 states, the District of Columbia, and Grand Bahama. Since the vision of our founding deans, many additional universities have partnered with SECME to extend our mission.
In creating SECME, the founding deans acted to address two urgent--and enduring--national challenges: 1) declining engineering enrollments on campuses across the U.S., and 2) growing evidence of shortfalls in STEM talent to sustain an economy--and global leadership position--increasingly dependent on technology and innovation as primary engines of growth. Their solution was to tap new talent in two groups then grossly underrepresented (at less than 1 percent each) in the engineering profession--namely, minorities and women.
Thus SECME began as a collaborative effort of school districts, engineering universities, business and industry, and government. The noble dream and determined pursuit of the founders was excellence and equity as well as needed change in K-12 education. The school-university partnership was the defining element in the original SECME “framework.” That model is, very intentionally, teacher-centered. By impacting teachers, all students benefit.
SECME is chartered in the State of Georgia as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation. From the beginning, its National Office and administrative home has been in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in midtown Atlanta.
To increase the pool of historically underrepresented and underserved students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce.
To be a beacon and benchmark for excellence and equity in pre-college education.