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La Prep: Louisiana's Successful Enrichment Program And Its Engineering And Discrete Math/Probability And Statistics Components

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.418.1 - 5.418.9



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Paper Authors

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Winston Conway Link

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Carlos G. Spaht II

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2530

LaPREP: Louisiana’s Successful Enrichment Program and Its Engineering and Discrete Math/Probability and Statistics Components

W. Conway Link, Carlos G. Spaht, II Louisiana State University-Shreveport


LaPREP (Louisiana Preparatory Program) is a highly successful enrichment program in engineering and the mathematical sciences for high-ability middle school students. It has been honored by the Mathematical Association of America, the National Science Foundation and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Foundation. It has been featured in several newspaper articles and has been given wide television coverage. Recently, it was featured on CSPAN, and a PBS video tape describing the program was aired nationally.

LaPREP identifies, encourages, an instructs competent middle school students, particularly women and minorities. Its long-term goal is for them to successfully complete a college program, preferably in engineering, math or science. Participants attend seven weeks of intellectually demanding classes and must maintain a 75+ average to remain in the program. Activities include course work in engineering and the mathematical sciences. Lab experience, including “hands-on” research activities, introduces engineering, math, and science as active and participatory processes. Other activities include ACT preparation, study skills and college awareness seminars, and field trips to local businesses and industries. Professionals in the engineering and technological fields, including many minorities, discuss career opportunities.

The program has been very successful in identifying and educating high ability middle school students. Evaluations by the participants, their parents, and by local and state officials who have visited LaPREP have been excellent. No current or former participant has dropped out of high school and 84% of exiting participants have indicated that LaPREP has increased their desire to study math and science. Moreover, all 55 former participants who have graduated from high school have enrolled in college and more than 90% of those responding to a survey indicated they were majoring in math or science. This is considerable improvement when compared with a similar survey taken of entering LaPREP students in which only 54% expressed an interest in attending college and majoring in math or science.

This paper will describe the program and its academic components, paying particular attention to the engineering and the discrete math/probability and statistics components.

Link, W. C., & Spaht II, C. G. (2000, June), La Prep: Louisiana's Successful Enrichment Program And Its Engineering And Discrete Math/Probability And Statistics Components Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8532

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