AIMing high

Jul 15, 2005

Students from all across the U.S. and the Bahamas have come to campus to participate in Kettering's award-winning pre college program for minorities.

What kind of student would willingly give up five weeks of summer vacation before their senior year in high school to sit in chemistry, physics and mathematics classes and labs? Those serious about Engineering or Science as a future career - that's who.

More than 40 such students are on campus from July 5 to Aug. 3 to get a taste of "real" college life at Kettering through the Academically Interested Minorities (AIM) pre-college program. They include Tyrone Mansfield, of Flint, who wants to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in design. The Carman-Ainsworth senior first learned about the AIM program from his aunt, Edith Withey, a former Kettering employee who coordinated pre-college programs for girls.

Another Flint student, Shavontae Chapman, had cousins who attended the AIM program. "They go to MSU now," he said, but he would like to matriculate at Kettering to major in Electrical Engineering. AIM is a chance for him to see what he'll be getting into.

AIM is a residential summer program for students entering 12th grade in the fall. Participants attend freshman-level courses Monday through Thursday in math, chemistry, computer programming, economics, physics, and business management. Courses are taught by Kettering faculty who assign homework and give exams. On Fridays during the program students are taken on tours of Kettering co-op employers to meet professional engineers and business managers. At the end of the program scholarships are offered to the students who rank in the top 15 percent of their AIM class.

To be eligible for the AIM program, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in high school math, chemistry and English; two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one year of chemistry with a lab and two years of English. They must also commit to attending the entire five-week course.

Since 1984 more than 700 students from across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean have participated in the AIM program. Each student is sponsored by a company or foundation. Corporate and foundation sponsors for this year, including seven new sponsors, are:


  • (new) Bendix, Elyria, Ohio
  • (new) Bosch Corp., Farmington Hills, Mich.
  • Chicago Public School, Chicago, Ill.
  • Clarksville Family Guidance, Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Delphi Steering Systems, Saginaw, Mich.
  • Delphi Corp., Troy, Mich.
  • GM Foundation, Detroit, Mich.
  • GM Powertrain North, Flint, Mich.
  • (new) GM Powertrain Headquarters, Detroit, Mich.
  • (new) GM Quality Functions, Detroit, Mich.
  • (new) Harley Davidson Motors, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Jamaica Public Service, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Kettering University, Flint, Mich.
  • (new) Link 2 Technologies, Warren, Mich.
  • Plastech, Dearborn, Mich.
  • Petros Gheresus Scholarship, Kettering University, Flint, Mich.
  • Rotary Club of Lucaya, Lucaya, Bahamas
  • San Diego Foundation, San Diego, Calif.
  • (new) Sunrise Rotary Club of Nassau, Nassau, Bahamas
  • TRW Foundation, Sterling Heights, Mich.
  • UPS Foundation, Atlanta, Ga.

The success of the AIM program is seen not only in the number of students who matriculate at Kettering, but also in those who pursue higher education in the fields of medicine and teaching.

"I would say close to 100 percent of AIM graduates go on to college," said Ricky Brown, associate director for the Office of Minority Affairs, "whether at Kettering or somewhere else."

So next year at this time, the 2005 AIM class will head off to college with a clear idea of what to expect, of the college experience, and of themselves.

Written by Dawn Hibbard