How can we help pre-college students find their path to STEM? I’m part of a team that works toward that goal in a variety of ways. And I’m excited for a new partnership that will help us address this.
We at the Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach are passionate about serving students for whom an education will be most transformative. Our goal is to create an on-ramp that provides a pathway for students to discover engineering as a profession and choose University of Michigan Engineering as the place to pursue it. That is why we are thrilled to announce our partnership with SMASH, a nonprofit organization that focuses on equipping students for STEM studies, with an emphasis on serving those who are underrepresented in these fields.
The work that SMASH is doing closely aligns with the College of Engineering’s belief that “diversity broadens our perspectives and paves the way for innovation.” SMASH’s vision is “a STEM ecosystem where every student, regardless of the zip code they grew up in, has the opportunity to participate in and thrive in the tech innovation economy. As a result, our communities and workplaces would benefit from well-prepared, competitive leaders representing broad perspectives and sectors of society.”
SMASH Michigan will be a free, three-year STEM-intensive college prep program where high school students will live on campus for five weeks each summer and have monthly programming throughout the school year.
Since its founding at University of California Berkeley in 2004, SMASH has been adopted by nine other universities, including Stanford University and Northeastern University. Its programs have helped move the needle forward for underserved students, boasting a 100% high school graduation rate and an 86% college graduation rate (within five years of enrollment) – 72% of which graduate with a STEM degree.
Adding our partnership with SMASH to Engineering OnRamp—our collection of pre-college programs—will allow us to empower and prepare an additional 100 students each year. We will welcome our first SMASH Michigan cohort of 35 students in summer 2020, with applications closing at the end of February.
This article was guest written by Karina Moore.