The San Antonio Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (PREP) (UTSA)

The San Antonio Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (PREP) is based within the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The program was established in 1979 at UTSA and has now been extended to eight community and senior college campuses in San Antonio and to several other campuses in Texas. Through support from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, PREP will soon be used as a model at seven institutions outside of Texas. Involvement in PREP is achieved with minimal cost to participants. The program focuses on developing the academic potential of middle and high school students through summer activities (course work, engineering projects, and career seminars). PREP appears to have influenced the introduction of Algebra I to 7th and 8th grade students and increased Calculus and Physics offerings at the high school level within the San Antonio school system. PREP is also involved with the city's Urban Systemic Initiative. Since its inception, PREP has served more than 6,600 students though one or more summer sessions. Minority and women involvement has been substantive. The program's summer impact has grown from 50 students in 1979 to 1,154 participants in 1996. The strengths of the nominee include: . The high percentage of participants who complete high school (99.9 percent). . The large number of high school graduates who opt for science or engineering majors and complete the curricula (55 percent). . The expansion of the program to other Texas sites and its recognition as a model for sites outside Texas. In summary, PREP excels at quality academic preparation of high school students in science, mathematics, and engineering and provides access for all students. Its success is shown in the replication of the program throughout Texas and soon to other national locations with Hispanic populations. The program has impacted large numbers of minority and female students. Materials show good student success rates. In addition, the San Antonio PREP and the Texas PREP have received several citations and awards that demonstrate organizational program distinction in the advancement of student career development in science and engineering.