What is iTEC?
Innovation through Engineering and Computing, or iTEC, is a multi-year, National Science Foundation grant (formerly called “Foundations for STEM Success”) awarded to Merrimack College to design and implement retention initiatives for all first year engineering and computer science students. The program is designed to help students through their first academic year, promoting graduation rates and successful careers for young engineers and computer scientists.
Studying engineering and computer science is demanding! Merrimack is providing academic support and community building for first year students to feel confidence in their area of academic interest. It allows students to collaborate with other first year engineers and computer scientists, upper-class peer mentors, and faculty from the very beginning of the student’s academic program to encourage success in engineering and computer science.
Our Program has four proven and effective initiatives :
1. Living & Learning Community - You will live in a dormitory community where students:
- are part of a supportive environment living among other engineers and computer scientists;
- attend specialized workshops and seminars designed for them;
- have in-dorm nightly tutoring resources available;
- participate in professional skill building sessions and social activities
2. A “Gateway” Introductory Course in Engineering or Computer Science which includes:
- an interdisciplinary team project, such as building a wind-turbine prototype, working with students in various engineering or computer science majors;
- soft skills such as communication, leadership and team work;
- classroom and lab components covering introductory topics in engineering and computer science.
· 3. A Peer and Faculty Mentoring Program which:
- assigns a upper-class peer mentor to act as a resource to ask questions about curriculum and career outcomes;
- provides workshops in time management, interviewing skills, working in teams;
- includes evening, drop-in tutoring sessions four evening per week in engineering and computer science topics;
- provides guest speakers from industry and field trips to local technology companies.
4. A Summer Intensive “Bridge” Program* which has three goals:
- to provide a math review and skills booster to help with first year math placement;
- to introduce you to your major via field trips, invited speakers, hands-on activities, student competitions;
- to form a sense of community with your peers through lots of recreational and social events throughout the two week residential program.
*Required for selected students