Helping transfer students succeed in engineering
Berkeley Engineering’s Transfer Pre-Engineering Program (T-PREP) has won the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, it was announced today. The award — given to 79 recipients this year — recognizes those colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
T-PREP serves incoming, underrepresented Berkeley Engineering transfer students for whom the transition from a community college to a major research university can be a challenging one. The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) serves incoming freshman students.
“Receiving this award acknowledges not only the strength of our program but also the outstanding talent pool that community colleges provide,” said Tiffany Shaleen Reardon, associate director for engineering excellence programs. “I’ve seen so many students bring the knowledge they’ve gained from T-PREP and share it with friends or go back to their community colleges and dispel the myth that Berkeley doesn’t care about transfer students. We love transfers!”
Founded in 2012 with initial funding from Lockheed Martin, Recare Foundation and General Motors, T-PREP begins with a three-week summer session and continues throughout the year with workshops and events. These include academic seminars, professional development workshops and even a design studio with professor Scott Moura — himself a PREP alumnus — at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. The program serves up to 60 students each year, totaling nearly 500 students in its nine years on the Berkeley campus.
“T-PREP was one of the most important and formative experiences of my Berkeley undergraduate career,” said T-PREP instructor Eldon Schoop (B.S.’16, M.S.’18, Ph.D.’22 EECS), who was a member of the program’s inaugural cohort in 2013. “Not only did it connect me with many resources on campus and prepare me for the rigorous academics, but it made me part of a real community that I still keep in touch with today. The program made my transition to Berkeley much smoother — I was able to ‘hit the ground running’ from day one.”
According to Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, “We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students. We’re proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”