A Pre-Engineering Program for the Under-Represented, Low-Income and/or First Generation College Students to Pursue Higher Education

  • Kumar Yelamarthi
  • P. Ruby Mawasha


This paper summarizes the findings of a twenty-year-old pre-engineering program that is aimed at improving both the recruitment and retention of under-represented students pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at Wright State University. The Wright Science Technology and Engineering Preparatory Program (STEPP) was nitiated in 1988 for under-represented, low-income, first-generation college students interested in pursuing higher education. The effectiveness of the program over time is measured from the survey responses from students, average high school grade point average, retention rates of students returning from previous year, students' enrollment in colleges, and percentage of students committed to STEM disciplines. This program serves as a model and a STEM approach valuable in preparing students for higher education.