Thirty-two high school seniors and 22 juniors benefited from Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Summer College Preview Programme (SCPP), which concluded on Thursday in a festive closing ceremony at the university’s campus. The three-week college preparatory course aims to give high school students an insight into university life and help prepare them for admission and enrolment in a top university.
“We are thrilled to welcome the highest number of students who have ever attended the Summer College Preview Programme. The pool of qualified students has gotten bigger every year,” said Bruce Volstad, manager of pre-college programmes at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
“What’s encouraging is that there are more and more students who want to spend part of their summer holiday preparing for what will be a very important decision in the coming years: where to go to university and what to study. We trust that these three weeks have helped the students get closer to their goals and be academically prepared to make that decision,” he added.
In its fifth year, Carnegie Mellon’s SCPP is designed to introduce academically motivated high school students to the demanding curriculum of highly selective universities such as the ones at Qatar Foundation. Students are exposed to college-level math and writing, preparing them for standardised academic exams and university level entrance exams. The programme helps to familiarise high school students with the workload they will experience once enrolled at university.
As academic success at top universities depends heavily on a strong command of the English language, the SCPP offered many opportunities for students to improve their English language skills. Students learned the importance of the writing process, including attention to audience, revision and editing techniques as well as fundamentals of proper grammar and effective style. The students also practised writing a university admission essay and speaking in front of a classroom audience.
The students attended classes focused on one of Carnegie Mellon’s major areas of study - business administration, computer science, information systems, or Biological Sciences, which is the new major offered by CMUQ - to help them learn about the university’s programmes and choose their area of interest. “Carnegie Mellon Qatar is at the top of my list of universities I would like to apply to, hence, I decided to apply to the programme to test the environment and the workload. I cancelled all my summer travel plans just to attend the SCPP and I don’t regret it. I am even more interested in CMUQ now and their new Biological Sciences major. I hope I get to be a Tartan next year” said Fatima Amir, a rising senior at Qatar Academy, and a speaker at the SCPP closing event.
Through this programme, the students learned first-hand how heavy a college course load can be and what caliber of work will be expected of them if they are accepted into Carnegie Mellon. Each student also had a mock college admission interview with a Carnegie Mellon counselor, preparing them for the competitive application process. To help develop personal skills, workshops were organised by Carnegie Mellon’s Student Affairs department covering such topics as goal setting, stress management and time management.
The 54 students in the programme represented 22 schools in Qatar. Two of the students who took part in last year’s programme returned for a second year. In this year’s programme, students were of 17 nationalities including Qatari, American, Bangladeshi, British, Canadian, Egyptian, Indian, Indonesian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Malaysian, Pakistani, Polish, Singaporean, Sudanese, South Korean, and Ukrainian.
According to the welcome speech presented by D. Murry Evans, marketing director at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, “Based on history, at least 15 of you will become students at Carnegie Mellon. So to you I say welcome to the CMU family. We look forward to a life-long relationship with you.”