The Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) is the world's largest consortium of African American private institutions of higher education. Its undergraduate member institutions are Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. Thirty-five years ago these liberal arts colleges were considered pioneers when they entered a Dual Degree in Engineering agreement with Georgia Institute of Technology. The unique partnership was formed to build academic centers of excellence for African American students to study engineering and technology. At that time less than 1% of engineers in the workforce were African Americans. According to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) the numbers in the workforce increased to almost 3% in 2003. The Atlanta University Center Dual Degree Engineering Program (AUCC DDEP) had a direct impact on that increase.

In 1969, the AUC DDEP received its first major grant of $265,000 from the
Olin Mathieson Charitable Trust. Since that time, several engineering schools
have been added to the program. These funds initiated the Georga Institute
of Technology/AUCC partnership for developing African American Engineers.
In addition to Georgia Institute of Technology, students now have the choice
of attending Auburn University, Clarkson University, Indiana University-Purdue
University Indianapolis, Missouri University of Science & Technology
North Carolina A&T State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville,
University of Florida, University of Michigan, and University of Notre Dame.

Together the AUC colleges and the engineering schools afford students the
benefit of receiving two degrees in approximately five years. The established
arrangement requires completion of a science or mathmatics curriclum at one of
the AUC colleges followed by completion of the engineering curriculum at the engineering school. Upon successful completion of both
curricula, students earn two degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree awarded by the AUC college, and a Bachelor of Science degree in a
specific engineering discipline (and in some cases, a master of engineering degree) from the affiliated engineering school.

The liberal arts tradition at the AUC colleges plays an important role in the education of engineering students. The goal is to produce scholars who are technically proficient in math, science, pre-engineering courses, and to equip them with a strong background in humanities, social sciences, communication skills, and presentation skills. Since the inception of the program, the Atlanta University Center Council of Presidents has shown their commitment by drafting and signing a formal agreement to oversee and support the DDEP. To date, more than 1000 students have graduated through the AUC DDEP.