Although summer programs introducing high school students
to engineering have existed at Notre Dame since 1976, the current
Introduction to Engineering Program (IEP) has been around only since
1998. The idea that started as a way to attract more women to engineering
by inviting them to a three-week program in the summer between their
junior and senior years in high school has blossomed ... more like
exploded ... into a summer experience where high school students apply
online and may end up on a waiting list 100 persons long.
Ramzi Bualuan, director of the IEP, says that the overall goal of
the program is the same: to make students of this age (rising seniors
in high school who excel in math and the sciences) aware of what
engineering is and the multitude of career options available as an
engineer. IEP also gives the students a taste of college life ...
what it is like to be away from home, manage their own time and money,
and meet people from around the country. “I’ve seen teens
really get excited about the ways in which they can impact humanity
through engineering,” says
Bualuan. “They actually make the decision to pursue engineering
because of this program. But even if they find out engineering is
not for them, the program is a success.”
According to Bualuan, approximately 75 percent of the
students who attend the program apply to Notre
Dame. A third of those students are admitted, and almost half of
those who accept and enter the University in the fall continue in
engineering. In fact, 18 IEP alumni (the 2002 summer program) graduated
from the University in May 2007.
Among the many unique aspects of the program is the online scrapbook
that students can share with their parents and friends. It’s
available at www.nd.edu/~iep/scrapbook. Students
wishing to apply for the 2008 program may do so online at www.nd.edu/~iep.