CHALLENGE PROGRAM HELPS
Each year, a group of incoming freshman, often underrepresented students, are invited to attend a four-week summer session that serves as a transitional bridge program between high school and college. The Challenge Program is hosted by Mines’ Multicultural Engineering Program and is sponsored by generous corporate donors, including the Haliburton Foundation, Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips and the Xcel Energy Foundation; corporate and foundation donors provided more than $394,000 for this program during the campaign.
Students become prepared for the rigors of their freshman core coursework and focus their summer studies on calculus and chemistry.
Elise Tran, a mechanical engineering student set to graduate in 2018, looks back on her time during the program as highly influential. “My favorite part about the program was the ability to gradually transition into college through meeting faculty and staff, making new friends, and getting familiarized with the campus and its resources,” she said.
Students stay on campus in the dorms during the four weeks, so they get to know each other very well and start school with a supportive group of friends, making the first few days of college less overwhelming. “The Challenge program is special because it is a family within itself. A majority of the students hired to be mentors or tutors are Challenge alumni and it truly creates a tight-knit community,” said Elise, who herself became a mentor.