Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, expressed his support and approval of the continued gains in diversity made at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
As Subcommittee Chairman, Cummings convened a series of hearings regarding civil rights programs and diversity initiatives in the United States Coast Guard. During these hearings, the Subcommittee examined a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerning changes made by the Coast Guard’s Civil Rights Directorate. The Subcommittee also examined diversity at the Coast Guard Academy.
This year, according to the Coast Guard, 290 young men and women are expected to accept appointments to the Coast Guard Academy and report in on June 27, of whom 34% are Under-Represented Minorities (URM) and 34% are women. Under-Represented Minorities comprised 24% of last year’s incoming Class of 2014, an increase from the Class of 2013 (which was comprised of 16% Under-Represented Minorities) and the Class of 2012 (which was comprised of 12% Under-Represented Minorities).
Increased efforts to promote the diversity at the Academy, through outreach and recruiting efforts, have produced a three-fold increase in URM accessions in a span of just three years.
“Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort,’” said Cummings. “The improvements in diversity at the Coast Guard Academy are not just showpieces for a quick improvement. They are long-lasting results that have been achieved by hard work and expanded outreach to communities across our nation. They will change the future of the service that is the tip of the spear of our homeland defense, making it more agile, more representative of our nation’s diversity, and more prepared for an uncertain future. I commend the United States Coast Guard on their efforts and I look forward to seeing the Class of 2015 matriculate through the Academy and move on to serve our nation.”
The Coast Guard also noted that diversity has not been created at the expense of admission standards. The overall “Academic Strength” of the Academy’s incoming class continues to increase and the SAT Average rose from 1300 (Class of 2014) to 1330 (Class of 2015). This academically stronger applicant pool also produced 55% more URM finalists compared to the Class of 2014 and a 154% increase compared to the Class of 2012.