Twenty-eight of the university’s incoming freshmen participated in the 2014 Challenge Program. Hosted by Mines’ Multicultural Engineering Program, the four-week summer session is a transitional bridge program between high school and college that immerses underrepresented students in the university environment through academic courses held on the Mines campus.
The Challenge Program focuses on calculus and chemistry to prepare students for the rigors of their freshman core coursework. Participants who successfully complete the summer program by attending all classes, field trips and required events matriculate to Colorado School of Mines the following fall.
Private investments from generous corporate donors including Xcel Energy made this year’s Challenge Program possible.
This year's Challenge Program participants with Xcel Energy Area Manager Preston Gibson (center).
Other donors included:
Edward J. Madigan Foundation
Corporate support allows Mines to fully fund the experience for participants. This includes room and board, program materials, and transportation to and from off-campus activities.
“Over the years, corporations and organizations have contributed to the success of the Challenge Program by providing support through financial contributions, hosting students for industry visits, and providing leadership and professional development workshops,” said Salazar Morgan. “With these generous gifts, we are able to offer a valuable experience for students, allowing them to move forward and persist in the rigorous academic environment found at Mines.”
The Challenge Program was created in response to the disproportionately low participation of historically underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and it has benefited from corporate support since its inception more than two decades ago. Xcel Energy’s grant is part of the company’s corporate giving focus on education in the STEM fields. The company employs 75 Mines graduates.