(Hoboken, N.J. – Nov. 4, 2019) -- Stevens Institute of Technology announced the launch of the Art Harper Saturday Academy, a multi-year program that will prepare and motivate high school students from under-resourced communities who are interested in pursuing college majors and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The program is driven by Stevens’ commitment to creating pre-college programming that will lead to greater diversity in STEM.
“The Art Harper Saturday Academy will not only strengthen high school students’ mathematical skills but build their understanding of what is needed to succeed in college and pursue a STEM career,” said President Nariman Farvardin. “This is an important initiative that reflects Stevens’ institutional mission to equalize and expand access to a STEM education.”
The program has recruited its first cohort of 19 students from traditionally under-resourced neighboring communities. Each year, a new cohort will be accepted into the program. The students enter the program as high school sophomores and have the opportunity to continue through their senior year of high school.
This year, the first cohort includes students from Hoboken High School, Jose Marti STEM Academy in Union City, North Bergen High School, North Star Academy - Washington Park High School in Newark, St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, Union City High School, and Weehawken High School. The high school students will meet on 10 Saturdays throughout the school year, five each semester.
The academy is intended to improve students’ mathematical skills, expose them to STEM careers and majors, provide special presentations for parents, and create learning opportunities that apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems. The academy will be held on the Stevens campus and participants will access student dining facilities and attend campus events, providing an introduction to life on a college campus. Students will also learn more about the undergraduate admissions process, financial aid and scholarship options, and other aspects of college life that are relevant regardless of where students eventually apply for admission.
“Our goal is to create an environment that mirrors a college experience for students,” said Edlyn Thompson-Mettle, associate director for diversity programs. “The combination of academic rigor, social experiences such as networking with Stevens undergraduate students, and exposure to different career paths within STEM by hearing from different speakers and participating in a variety of activities, will allow students to truly understand the path to obtaining a STEM degree and the value that the degree will ultimately create for them.”
The Art Harper Saturday Academy was named in honor of alumnus Arthur H. Harper’s commitment to supporting underrepresented minorities and students from under-resourced communities. The program, which will be at no cost to participants, is supported by Art’s wife, Linda Harper, and Nate Davis, a Stevens alumnus and executive chairman of K12, a leading provider of online curriculum and support services. The academy serves as a testimony to a man who was dedicated to making a difference and helping others attain success.
The program comes on the heels of Stevens ACES (Accessing Careers in Engineering and Science), a program to increase the participation and success of underserved students and those from underrepresented minority groups in STEM degrees and careers through significant scholarship support and academic and other support services. Students from partner high schools receive a full-tuition scholarship to Stevens Summer Pre-college Programs, providing them with an introduction to college life and inspiring them to pursue a STEM-focused college education.
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