Scholars Academy

Scholars Academy
State
Texas
Academic Level
Baccalaureate
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Scholarship,
STEM

Overview

The Scholars Academy is an academically competitive program in the College of Science and Technology promoting scholarship and student success for undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program aims to increase the number of students graduating with a baccalaureate degree in the STEM field and the number of students pursuing graduate and professional degrees.

Program Description

Established in 1999, the Academy is the product of an Army Research Office grant under the initial direction of two University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) STEM professors.

The Academy offers participants a high-quality education through small learning communities, peer and faculty mentoring, free tutoring, research opportunities, financial aid assistance, and professional development. Each participant receives guidance from personal peer mentors and Ph.D. faculty mentors while also receiving access to free tutoring in lower and upper-division math, sciences, and engineering courses. Students also have the opportunity to receive career soft skills training, engage in field trips and seminars that will expose them to career opportunities, and participate in external summer research, internships, and graduate programs. Each participant is awarded a scholarship of $3,000 - $4,000 on average per academic year. Summer stipends are also granted to participants for research participation.

Outcome

  • Increased graduation: Of the 2014 cohort, 70% (86 of 122) of all First Time in College students graduated within six years. Of Latino program participants, 75% (44 of 59) graduated within six years.
  • Increased graduate school attainment: As of 2020, 41% of all Academy graduates have advanced into a graduate or professional program, and 51% have advanced into medical school programs.