Program for the Retention of Engineering Students (PRES) at CUNY

The City College of New York's Program for the Retention of Engineering Students (PRES), begun in 1987, was established to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the engineering field. PRES concentration is on freshman. Data indicate that half of engineering students drop out during the first two years of school. PRES services are focused on improving academic performance and providing career information. Among the services listed, are, 1) pre-freshman and pre-transfer summer enrichment programs; 2) mathematics and science workshops; 3) frequent academic monitoring and advisement; 4) career orientation and professional development sessions, and 5) cooperative education and summer job placement. Comparison data provided indicate that student retention rates are impacted with 90 percent of the students staying in engineering versus 50 percent for those students not in the program. Another highlight of the proposal is the program's impressive impact on graduation rates and matriculation into graduate programs. In addition, the proposal indicates PRES will continue to grow through the support it receives from its 18-member advisory board composed of corporate and foundation representatives. The strengths of the nominee include: . Largest enrollment of engineering students in New York state (50 percent of the state's engineering students). . Pre-freshman enrichment, personal counseling, block registration, tutoring by peers and upper classmen, required non-credit course in problem solving, math and science workshops, frequent academic monitoring and advisement, career orientation and professional development services, summer job placement. Significant impact on student retention, graduation, academic performance. 90 percent of the students remain in engineering. PRES student graduation rates are twice as high as other minority engineering students. Founda tion and corporate support. Innovative and replicable. In summary, PRES is a sophisticated and comprehensive student support system. The population of assisted students overwhelmingly satisfies the NSF criteria for diversity and underrepresented populations. The program offered the unique component of involving transfer students in the support process even before transfer from the feeder school.