The Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering
Education (CAHSEE) is an educational services organization, and a science
and technology educational policy institute, founded and led by Latino
engineers and scientists, dedicated to creating the next technical and
scientific leadership of America by preparing Latinos to be an integral
part of that leadership.
For almost ten years, CAHSEE has worked to increase the representation
of Hispanics and other underrepresented minorities in science and engineering.
Students, enlisted from the fifth grade and beyond, are exposed to an
accelerated, academic rigorous environment that focuses in developing
the students’ intellectual abilities, academic capacities, civic
responsibility and leadership qualities.
CAHSEE participants are mentored through their graduate level education
and into their professional careers. Presently, we are working with
nearly a thousand CAHSEE students and alumni nationwide. Since 1992,
CAHSEE has worked with over 500 pre-college students from metropolitan
Washington DC, all of which are making excellent progress in their education.
Highlights of CAHSEE's accomplishments include
All of our students graduate from high school with a minimum GPA
of B+, many of them within the A- to A+ range. All subsequently enroll
in college with the majority living on Campus. Most of these students
are the first ones in their family to graduate from high school and
By the tenth grade, all CAHSEE students score above the national
average in their SAT exams. Furthermore, the 75% quartile of our 11th
graders scores 33 points above the score of the national 75% percentile.
By the time they are seniors, most of the CAHSEE students score over
1250 on the SAT exams. Many score in the 1400-1600 ranges, including
several that have obtained a perfect score of 800 in math.
The majority of our students enroll in science and engineering.
This holds true for female students who constitute 50% of all students.
Many attend universities in or near their communities, yet as many
go to major universities, including elite institutions such as MIT,
Stanford and Ivy Leagues schools, and West Point.
As far as we are aware, none of our students has withdrawn from
college. Significantly, this fact represents a deviation from the
reported trend with Latino and female students who are likely to drop
out of science and engineering majors. Most of our students graduate
within four or five years.
The 70% of our college graduates currently in the CAHSEE pipeline
of pre-college through college programs enroll in graduate school
within two years of graduating from college. All who enroll in graduate
school complete their degrees, mostly at the master's level. Of our
former CAHSEE students, about 17 are enrolled in PhDs and two have
completed their terminal degrees at top universities such as UC Berkeley
and UC San Diego, MIT, Caltech, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Northwestern,
Mayo Clinic, etc.
CAHSEE follows closely the academic performance of most of the college
students, personally advising them about courses and courseload, relations
with faculty and staff, the graduate admission process, and their dissertation
The President of CAHSEE, Charles E. Vela, a Senior Science Advisor
with the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute, works
closely with members of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, with Congresswoman
Constance A. Morella, who is a member of the House Committee on Science.
Last year, he represented the Speaker of the House, Congressman J. Dennis
Hastert, on the bipartisan Commission on Women and Minorities in Science
and Engineering. CAHSEE's work has been widely acclaimed, The White
House awarded it the citation 'What Works in the Latino Community',
and the Latino Children Institute, awarded CAHSEE the 'Promesa Award.'
Recently, National Academy of Sciences' President, Bruce Alberts, named
Charles Vela to long-term study committee to assess the National Institute
of Health Minority Research and Training Programs.
CAHSEE works closely with academic institutions and Federal agencies
advising them in the recruitment, retainment and promotional opportunities
for Hispanics and other minorities underrepresented in the science and
CAHSEE is a member of the Latino Science and Engineering Consortium.
The consortium is a coalition that brings together the three national
Latino science and engineering membership organizations—the Society
of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Society of Mexican American
Engineers and Scientists (MAES), the Society for the Advancement of
Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the educational