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Quest: A Program To Reach Academically Talented Students

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.827.1 - 6.827.8



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Paper Authors

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Robert Taylor

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Robert Green

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Lesia Crumpton-Young

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A. Bennett

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Teresa Sappington

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

Session 3453

Quest: A Program to Reach Academically Talented Students

Robert A. Green, Robert P. Taylor, Teresa B. Sappington, Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, A. Wayne Bennett

Mississippi State University


Students who score high on standardized tests, have excellent high school grades, and have exhibited qualities of leadership are recruited by some of the best programs in the nation and are presented with many career options. Reaching out to these students and getting or keeping them interested in engineering is critical for the long-term benefit of the engineering profession. Mississippi State University has designed a program to reach these top-quality students and interest them in a career in engineering. An additional benefit is that the students have an opportunity to see what Mississippi State has to offer and hopefully will result in these students enrolling in our program.

Quest is a highly competitive, five-week long, in-residence, summer program for rising high school seniors. These students are brought to campus and enrolled in a special section of engineering graphics. Each student is also required to enroll on one additional course offered in the regular university schedule. Students live in campus housing and are treated like regular college students. A mentor is assigned to work with the students and help them adjust to college life.

In addition to the two courses each student takes, a series of enrichment seminars and tours are scheduled to enable to the students to see various engineering disciplines and to improve some of their life skills. Enrichment seminars include topics such as personality types and teamwork, college finances, and stress management. Tours include on-campus research facilities and other engineering facilities in the general geographic area.

Response to the program and feedback from the initial participants has been excellent. Quest participants now have a better understanding of engineering and are far ahead of their fellow high school students in being prepared for the adjustment to the rigors of college life.


Recruiting and retaining high caliber engineering students is a challenge all schools face. Many students who are well prepared to enter an engineering field are often steered to a science or math field, primarily because they lack a thorough understanding of engineering. While high school teachers are often capable of providing excellent advice on science and math careers, Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Taylor, R., & Green, R., & Crumpton-Young, L., & Bennett, A., & Sappington, T. (2001, June), Quest: A Program To Reach Academically Talented Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9708

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