Texas A&M Engineering Summer Bridge Program welcomes new students

TAMU LEEP StudentsThe Dwight Look College of Engineering recently hosted 32 incoming freshman engineering students for an intensive five-week program called LEEP (Learning to Excel in Engineering through Preparation).

LEEP is an educational initiative designed to prepare first-year incoming engineering students for an education in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M. The program includes six hours of course credit, which includes extensive instruction in engineering math, physics and study skills. Students also have opportunities to interact with upper class undergraduate students, faculty/staff, student services and former students in industry.

LEEP emphasizes the teamwork aspect of engineering and promotes giving back to the community. To reach this goal, students spent a day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, where they cleared brush from a new housing lot and helped assemble housing trusses.  

LEEP also encourages making connections between engineering course work and engineering job opportunities. An event in this year’s LEEP program included a tour of General Electric gas turbine production facilities in Houston. Professional engineers explained to the incoming freshman how the machines work, as well as how they are built and assembled.  

As a new addition to the program, participants this summer had the opportunity to undertake an original research project, modeled after graduate work in civil engineering. For their research, students tested the effectiveness of different monitoring stations in detecting contamination in a water distribution network. The research challenged them to consider how to develop and weigh alternative solutions, and to see how physical phenomena can be described by mathematical models.  Students raising rafter

At the end of the five weeks, the student’s review of the LEEP program was overwhelmingly positive. Students reported that they built meaningful peer relationships, learned valuable study habits, strengthened their math and physics skills in preparation for the fall semester, and appreciated the opportunity to interact with engineering faculty.  

When asked what they would say to encourage new freshman to attend LEEP, one student said, “It was a blast!  We worked hard and learned so much! If you want to have a better chance of succeeding in your first year and beyond, come to LEEP.”