New Mexico State University - Las Cruces (NMSU) recently invited me to give an IT Careers talk at their Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (PREP) for Jr. High/Middle School and High School Students. NMSU's PREP program is a five-week academically-intense summer program for pre-college students who have demonstrated academic achievment. Average enrollment each summer is about 150 students. The program was started in 1997 and has three levels (3 years). What I find remarkable about this program is its results. The students who have attended are ethically and socio-economically diverse. Eighty-seven percent of the participant population is made up from under-represented minorities. Fifty-six percent are female. All are from regions that border Mexico. Of the past participants that are now college age:
- 100 percent completed high school
- Ninety-four percent have or are attended college
- 93 percent are enrolled a NMSU
There is no charge for students to attend; the cost of the program is born entirely by corporate sponsorships & related fundraising efforts. For more information about this fantastically-effective program, check out http://www.nmsu.edu/~lcprep .