Posted on August 15, 2017

Students set to begin their engineering studies at Texas A&M University at Qatar posted significant improvements in their mathematics knowledge and skills through Pathways for Retention in Engineering Programs (PREP), according to examination scores at the conclusion of the program. Overall, the students improved their exam scores by an average of more than 20 percent from the beginning to the end of the program, reflecting the success of the initiative.

The PREP course, which ran the three weeks from 23 July through 10 Aug., was taught by Dr. Sandra Nite from Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA. Nite commended the students for their remarkable progress. “I have enjoyed working with this talented group of students,” Nite said. “They have worked diligently to deepen their understanding of concepts needed for success in engineering calculus. I have high confidence that these students are more prepared for their engineering careers as a result of their effort this summer.”

PREP is part of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders initiative, a partnership between Texas A&M at Qatar and longtime collaborator, Maersk Oil Qatar, that aims to help young Qataris to choose and succeed in educational pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which are critical to the success of the Qatar National Vision 2030. PREP aims to provide students a solid foundation in mathematics, which is essential in sciences and engineering, to support the academic success of incoming engineering students. The program comprised intense instruction in mathematical topics such as functions, trigonometry and linear systems.

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Faisal Al-Baker, an incoming Texas A&M at Qatar engineering student, said the program significantly strengthened his mathematics skill ahead of his enrollment in university studies. “The PREP program has helped me a great deal because most of the things I’ve studied here I haven’t seen before at school, and they were introduced to us in new and creative ways,” he said. “The teachers here care about whether or not the information was understood, and the equipment and the tools we used in class helped us visualize the problems to better solve them.”

Academic enrichment initiatives such as PREP are part of a broad strategy to support Qatar’s knowledge-based economy, said Dr. Brady Creel, director of outreach programs at Texas A&M at Qatar. “Our goal is to inspire the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar,” he said. “Texas A&M at Qatar is proud to support and encourage these ambitious students on their path to becoming engineers.”