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Texas A&M at Qatar students boost math skills before freshman year

Published Aug 13, 2018

Incoming engineering students enrolling at Texas A&M University at Qatar have advanced their mathematics knowledge and skills after participating in the Pathways for Retention in Engineering Programs (PREP), as per the examination scores recorded at the completion of the program.

Overall, the students improved their exam scores by an average of 30 percent throughout the program, marking the success of the initiative.

This year, 18 students including two from Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s computer engineering program participated in PREP. The program gives the students a solid foundation in mathematics, supporting the academic success of incoming engineering students. The program consists of intense instruction in mathematical topics such as functions, trigonometry and linear systems.

The PREP program is sponsored by Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd. (Oxy Qatar) and is one of several Texas A&M at Qatar programs that help young students 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.

Andrew H. Kershaw, President & General Manager of Oxy Qatar, said, “Occidental strives to be a Partner of Choice everywhere we operate by investing time and resources in programs that strengthen local communities. We are so proud to support the Pathways for Retention in Engineering Programs (PREP) at Texas A&M at Qatar that provides every student with an unforgettable summer experience by building their confidence, developing skills and helping them discover engineering’s endless possibilities.”

Now in its third year, PREP was taught by Dr. Sandra Nite from Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA.

PREP participant Rand Alagha said she enrolled in the program because she believes practice makes perfect. 

Ebtihal Youssef, another participant, said, “Every day of the PREP program contributes a different piece of the puzzle to my learning experience, giving me complementary details that augment my understanding. The program keeps improving my critical and logical thinking, in addition to my ability to analyze and interpret data, and most importantly — time management. In addition, it enhances qualities that help in boosting my self-confidence and strengthening my verbal communications skills. I hope, by the end of four weeks, I will be well prepared in the fundamentals of mathematics, which I strongly believe will be crucial to my success at Texas A&M at Qatar.”

Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said that the transition between high school and college can be challenging, particularly when students enter a rigorous degree program such as engineering.

“Preparing students for the rigors they will face in their university studies is key to their future success,” Malavé said, “and this program helps to ease that transition for our students. Dr. Nite has lent her expertise to help prepare the next generation of engineering leaders who will lead Qatar’s future growth and development. We are proud of each of these students. They have invested in their future by participating in this program and have shown true dedication to their studies and to their future careers.”