LAPEER COUNTY — Today's students need every possible advantage and educational tool to compete and succeed in the rapidly changing global job market.
While American schools are working to enhance educational opportunities for students, the number of young people entering the fields of engineering and science continues to lag behind the rest of the world.
In an effort to stem that tide, the Lapeer County ISD Education and Technology Center and UM-Flint are collaborating to provide a program designed for students who are interested in careers in engineering.
Beginning in Fall 2008, the Lapeer Ed-Tech Center will offer a credited pre-engineering program for qualifying senior students from the county's six public high schools.
The program, to be managed by the Computer Science, Engineering Science and Physics Department of UM-Flint, will be limited to just 25 qualified students.
"This program is targeting a segment of the student population that traditionally doesn't come to the Ed-Tech Center," said school Principal Harvey Versmeesch. "It gives these kids a chance to jump start their careers.
"This is a pilot program and it's a tremendous opportunity for students with an interest in engineering careers," he said. "If it works, we could explore offering prelaw, premedicine and other programs. This is very exciting for our school. I think we're still a secret to a lot of people."
Qualifications for participation in the program include enrollment in Calculus or AP Calculus at their home high schools; and have either completed or be enrolled in high school physics. Students are also expected to be highly motivated. Exceptions to these qualifications may be considered by UM-Flint faculty.
Students will have an opportunity to earn pre-engineering college credits at the Ed-Tech Center beginning in 2008. photo by Tom Wearing.
The program's tuition and fees will be accommodated by the student's high school, although students will be responsible for the cost of required textbooks.
Participating students will be dual-enrolled in their home high schools and University of Michigan-Flint. All credits earned (up to 11 credits) will be recorded on official university transcripts and be applicable to degree programs at UM-Flint or other institutions.
The series of four courses will be taught at the Ed-Tech Center by UM-Flint faculty under the guidance of Quamrul Mazumder, PhD. Classes will be scheduled during the morning hours in the Fall 2008 and Winter 2009 semesters.
The pre-engineering classes will include:
• EGR 102: Introduction to Engineering (3 credits);
• CSC 122: Introduction to Programming in the BASIC Language (2 credits).
• CSC 175: Problem Solving and Programming 1 (4 credits);
• EGR 165: Computer Aided Design (2 credits).
For more information about the program, contact Lapeer County ISD Education and Technology Center Principal Harvey Vermeesch at 810-664-1124, or CTE Assistant Principal Cathy Amboy at 810-245-3979.