Fewer than 50 percent of first-year engineering students nationwide go on to complete their education and graduate with an engineering degree. The retention rate for students from low-income backgrounds is even more dismal.
In 2013, the College of Engineering at the University of Washington instituted a program called STARS which provides an extra year of prep for hand-selected students as well as continuous follow-up and mentoring to help them succeed.
I recently completed the program’s first annual report which highlighted six program graduates and current students. These amazing young men and women are working hard and following their dreams to become computer scientists and civil, aeronautical, mechanical and environmental engineers. It was an honor to tell their inspirational stories.