College Offers "GoldShirt" Year To Enhance Student Performance

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Similar to the redshirt programs commonly used to extend athletes' eligibility to participate in college sports, CU-Boulder is launching the GoldShirt Transitional Program to expand students' ability to participate in the College of Engineering.

The program being piloted this fall will provide a performance-enhancing year for motivated high-school students who are not fully prepared to succeed in an undergraduate engineering program. Associate Dean and ITL Co-director Jackie Sullivan, who has been leading the college's efforts to increase enrollment and retention of students historically underrepresented in engineering, is the driving force behing GoldShirt.

A grant from the National Science Foundation will help to support the program, which will include a two-week, summerbridge experience followed by a year of introductory courses designed to prepare students to transition into the standard engineering curricula the following year.

The program is targeted to begin with 15 students this fall, and increase to 30 students in 2010. Karen King, who has a PhD in engineering sciences and previously taught at the successful Denver School of Science and Technology, will coordinate the GoldShirt Program in conjunction with mechanical engineering Professor Jana Milford.

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