BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The United States Under Secretary of Education visited Morgan State University on Monday to learn more about the university’s programs and graduates.

Inside Morgan State’s Rocketry Lab, you’ll find some of the university’s brightest. They’re working on launching a rocket to the edge of space.

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“We’re all learning,” Morgan State student Don-Terry Veal, Jr. said. “It’s a new experience for everyone involved.”

The lab opened in 2019.

Monday, the students had a special visitor: James Kvaal, the U.S. Under Secretary of Education.

He came to Morgan State to see how programs like this one at HBCUs are bringing diversity to the workforce.

“Too often when we think about higher education, most of the conversation revolves around a few institutions that pride themselves on being selective and turning away students, but what our country needs is more opportunities from all backgrounds,” Kvaal said.

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The Under Secretary also participated in a roundtable discussion with faculty and other students on campus.

The university’s president, Dr. David Wilson, listed the school’s top majors and how the campus has grown, noting the university’s journey to getting R1 research status.

“It was very important for the State of Maryland and for the nation to know Morgan’s playing such a role in diversifying the workforce of today and readying a diverse workforce for tomorrow,” President Wilson said.

Students, like Veal Jr., said the growth of the university is what inspires them to become leaders in their future careers.

“Just saying that we built a rocket — something that anybody can do across the world and has been doing since the 60s, so, it’s not necessarily something that we’re making that is important,” Veal said. “We are the things that are being made.”

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The students and faculty also discussed the challenges the university faced during the pandemic and how Morgan was able to overcome them and continue to grow.

Jessica Albert