AIM program is award winning

Dec 16, 2004

Kettering's pre-college program for minority students was recognized as "outstanding" by MACRAO.

The Academically Interested Minorities (AIM) program at Kettering received the 2004 "Outstanding Program" award from the Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO). The program was recognized to its dedication to the development and career success of its students.

"Receiving this award shows what we're doing for youth is recognized by our peers and send a message to prospective students and their parents that ours is an elite pre-college engineering program," said Ricky Brown, director of pre-college programs for the Office of Minority Student Affairs.

"The elements that made our program stand out from other programs are the number of in-state students participated and how well they did academically in the program," said Brown.

"Our retention rate also helped us earn this award," he said. An average of 39 percent of AIM participants enroll at Kettering. The national average for students participating in pre-college engineering programs enrolling at the host institution is only 12 percent.

The summer 2004 AIM class had 39 students, 30 of whom have applied to Kettering for admission in 2005. "The reason they want to come to Kettering is because of the relationships they have built on campus during the AIM program," said Brown. The opportunity for the cooperative education experience is another factor, he said.

Once at Kettering AIM students tend to do well academically, said Brown. "The 2003 class had 13 students matriculate and they currently have an average WAG (weighted average grade) of 89 out of 100," he said.

AIM is a five-week residential summer program for students entering 12th grade in the fall. The program provides students with a "real life" college experience. Participants attend freshman-level courses Monday through Thursday in calculus, 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.

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, including General Motors, Ford, Delphi, UPS, TRW, Lear, Plastech and Link Technologies, who underwrites their participation in the program.

Written by Dawn Hibbard