College of Engineering, Design, and Computing-Affinity Focus Group

Needs Assessment


Affinity focus groups are an avenue by which individuals from historically marginalized groups can freely discuss issues of systemic racism, inequities, barriers, and biases. The intention is to provide a safe space for individuals to describe the campus culture and climate from their perspectives. It is important to not put the onus on fixing the problem on students but to have them reflect on their experiences. 

Evaluation Approach

Our team is conducting focus groups with STEM students from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. We are guided by and grounded in a race equity perspective. This requires critical examination and reflection on the questions that are asked, how they are asked, whose voice is heard and valued, whose voice and experience is missing, and who benefits.


  • Learn about the student experience/understand the climate of the student experience
  • Give voice to student perspectives
  • Inform ways that the department can change to be more inclusive for women and students of color
  • Provide insight on how to shape and resource diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives



(October 2020 – June 2021)


College of Engineering, Design, and Computing community: students, staff, faculty, and administrators.



CU Denver chapters


  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Tau Beta Pi