At Tuskegee University, the College of Engineering, offers summer pre-college programs – MITE (Mentoring Into Engineering) and FASTREC (Freshman Accelerated Start-Up Training and Retention Engineering Curricula) to high school students completing 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, respectively, to prepare and motivate them to choose and enter college programs in engineering. MITE is offered to high school students completing 10th and 11th grades. FASTREC is offered to students who have graduated from high school. These programs have been ongoing for over forty years. Our goal this past summer has always addressed the need to increase the pool of historically under-represented, under-served, students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce.

Currently, MITE is a one-week program designed to introduce high school students to various aspects of engineering, and provide them with lessoned learned in preparing for success in college. The program includes laboratory demonstrations; several design projects, lectures on college admission, financial aid, cooperative education, career opportunities and field trips. A secondary role of the MITE program is to bring students to the campus to introduce various aspects of college life.
Students participating in the program this year were able to spend time with faculty from each of the four departments within the college. They spent the entire day focusing on what each department consist of as well as participating in experiments. The students completed a bridge made out of Popsicle sticks in which they had to make a presentation to the graduate student in the NAVSEA Program and they also competed in an egg drop. The MITE students concluded the program by touring the Procter and Gamble facility in LaGrange, GA a battery facility. The students enjoyed watching and interacting with Alumni and employees of the company.

The FASTREC Program students are selected from high schools throughout the United States, based on their SAT or ACT scores and their high school.
Up to seven semester credit hours may be earned towards the Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. In addition, presentations by industrial speakers and role models are provided. As an introduction to the demands of engineering, students participate in open-ended design, specific project implementation, and CAD/CAM/CAE (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing/Computer Aided Engineering) activities. These students engage in development activities for mobile technology developing applications for learning. In addition, cooperative education, orientation, presentations by industrial speakers and role models are provided for the summer session. FASTREC is recognized as a national model by the National Science Foundation and noted as a key strength of the CEAPS program. Additionally, the FASTREC Program provides steps for success in college and beyond.
FASTREC has the following components:
  • Student/Parental Orientation
  • Peer-mentoring, counseling and tutoring; FASTREC Cohort-led academic execution
  • GPA minimums (3.0), letters of recommendation and interviews
  • Academic rigor; students are enrolled in Calculus I, or higher; engineering graphics; physics/chemistry and computer programming
  • Mandatory cohort tutorials daily; each-one-helps-one toward the development of projects
  • Weekly industry visits
  • Bi-weekly technical tours
  • Scholarship Awards, Internship Selection; Industry sponsors
  • Time Management; Personal Road Map Development
Each summer's activities culminate with an awards banquet highlighting the achievements of each student. In the past, we have given scholarships and commitment to internships. Our industry partners assists in making the Awards Banquet a significant event. Companies participate with contribution of promotional gifts, scholarship funding and commitments to internships. The scholarship commitment is significant with the better students receiving full tuition and educational expenses. As such, FASTREC is one of our key recruiting and retention programs. And, it is critical that support continues at current levels for its success. This is a target program for high school students to covet to attend. Additionally, FASTREC provides an anchor for the continuation of successful students academically. Years two and three FASTREC students further employ strategies for success that will include peer mentoring and tutoring, celebrating intellectualism, iteration on the personal road map, and aggressive monitoring by the Assistant to the Dean. . As such, FASTREC has a positive effect on students’ retention and graduation rates. Nolita Davis, General Electric previous Alum of FASTREC visited during the summer to encourage students as well as help with resumes. The students received some valuable tips to assist them during the Fall Career fair.

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