Detroit Program To Begin College Prep at Middle-School Level

Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in suburban Detroit has pledged $3.5 million in scholarship funding and long-term academic support in an effort to improve the science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills of students at Detroit Public Schools' Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy.

Fifty middle school students at Sampson-Webber, a K-8 school with about 400 students, will become Blue Devil Scholars this fall. Another 50 will join the program each year until it reaches a critical mass of about 300 and eventually will include students as young as kindergarten age.

The program will start immediately with a professional development component for Sampson-Webber teachers as they become proficient in project-based learning and active-collaborative learning. Modules with STEAM content will be included in their middle-school courses and LTU students will act as tutors.

Once the students complete their middle-school work at Sampson-Webber, they will continue in the program at Detroit Collegiate Preparatory at Northwestern High School, where they will choose one of five STEAM tracks — art, design, math and science, technology and management, or engineering — that will be created for them by LTU faculty and students in conjunction with high school teachers. Dual-enrollment classes the students take during their high school years will allow them to earn certificates for 12 to 15 college credits that can be used when they move on to be college students at LTU.

"We are confident that students who successfully complete the blue devil scholars program will be well-prepared to do well soon they arrive on campus as freshmen," said LTU President Virinder Moudgil.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.