Increasing the number and percentage of underrepresented minority students in STEM study and careers is a strategic goal for Stevens Institute of Technology. Toward this goal, Stevens is partnering with high schools in underserved communities to introduce talented students with significant financial need, particularly URM students, to college life, inspire them to pursue their STEM education, and give them the support they need as undergraduates.
Stevens ACES (Accessing Careers in Engineering and Science), which includes both pre-college and undergraduate components, builds upon and leverages the capabilities of a number of Stevens resources and constituencies—including faculty, students, alumni, academic and student life support services, pre-college programs, admissions and financial aid, and teacher/school counselor programs—to create robust and lasting relationships with partner high schools. The 2017- 18 pilot effort includes public, charter and Catholic schools in Newark, Paterson, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Brooklyn, New York with a high percentage of underserved and underrepresented minority students. Approximately 20 pre-college and 15 undergraduate students will be selected to participate in Stevens ACES for fall 2018.
Partner schools will benefit from a number of dedicated services, including scholarship support for pre-college summer programs for deserving students, mentorship programs, and teacher and school counselor professional development, among others. They will also be engaged in shaping the services that Stevens provides to partner schools as the partnership evolves.
Among the benefits for schools, educators and students and families that Stevens will provide are:
- Full scholarships for top students to attend the Stevens Summer Pre-College Program
- Special consideration for undergraduate scholarships
- Customized admissions visit days for students and families
- Special programming for selected students, including some overnight programs on campus
- Admissions and financial aid workshops
- A dedicated admissions counselor for the high school
- Class field trips to Stevens research labs
- Professional development for school counselors, science and math teachers
- Inclusion in federal, state and corporate-sponsored grant programs and partnerships
From Pre-College to the Undergraduate Program
Stevens will provide scholarship support and access to its Summer Pre-College Program to recommended ACES students in order to provide them a glimpse of the college experience and inspire them to pursue a STEM-focused college education, leading to successful careers and further positive impact on their communities.
Alongside other Summer Pre-College Program participants, ACES students will enjoy an immersive campus experience, where they live in residence halls, conduct hands-on projects, visit successful companies and meet industry leaders, and learn how to write compelling college applications. Past participants speak to the resounding success of the Summer Pre-College Program. They report feeling more confident in their academic and social abilities, excited to go to college, and eager to pursue degrees in STEM fields. More than 80 percent of past participants who responded to a survey said they will be pursuing a career in either STEM or business education.
Students who choose to pursue undergraduate studies at Stevens will become part of a learning community that will benefit from some well-established resources that have propelled previous students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups to exceptional outcomes. Among them is the Stevens Technical Enrichment Program (STEP), which offers a wide range of services and programs to support the students’ success, and encourage their academic, professional, cultural and personal development. The support begins with the Bridge Summer Program, and continues during the academic year. Students have access to STEP resources during their undergraduate career and beyond, as alumni.