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Texas A&M at Qatar helps incoming freshmen PREP for university success

Published Aug 06, 2017

Two dozen students who will enter Texas A&M University at Qatar’s engineering degree programs in the fall are focusing on advancing their mathematics skills this summer ahead of their first semester as university students.

The students are participating in the three-week Pathways for Retention in Engineering Programs (PREP) initiative organized by Texas A&M at Qatar’s Office of Development, Engagement and Outreach.

PREP aims to provide students a solid foundation in mathematics, which is essential in sciences and engineering, to support the academic success of incoming engineering students. The program comprises intense instruction in mathematical topics such as functions, trigonometry and linear systems.

For the second consecutive year, the course is being taught by Dr. Sandra Nite from Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA.

“Our goal is to help students close any gaps between what they already know and what they need to understand in engineering mathematics,” Nite said. “We reinforce this knowledge with hands-on activities that illustrate the real-world application of mathematical concepts.”

Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said that the transition between high school and college can be as challenging as an engineering career.

“At Texas A&M at Qatar, we believe that preparing students for the rigors they will face in their university studies is key to their future success,” Malavé said. “We are grateful to Dr. Nite for lending her expertise in preparing the next generation of engineering leaders who will lead Qatar’s future growth and development, and we are proud of each of these PREP students for committing to their careers and investing in their futures.”

PREP is part of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders initiative, a partnership between Texas A&M at Qatar and longtime collaborator Maersk Oil Qatar that aims to help young Qataris to choose — and succeed in — educational pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which are critical to the success of the Qatar National Vision 2030. 

Jowaher Al-Marri, Texas A&M at Qatar’s outreach and development manager, said many students come to university each year suffering from “summer learning loss,” meaning that students lose much of the information acquired in previous years.

“PREP offers students exciting opportunities to apply knowledge in order to improve their understanding,” she said. “This prepares students for the intensity of engineering studies at Texas A&M at Qatar so they can pursue their degree with confidence.”