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U-M’s Community College Summer Program to double enrollment with a grant from Kahn foundations

  • Contact Maryanne George, (734) 615-6514, mageorge@umich.edu

Blue ribbon with the acronym URPO (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program)ANN ARBOR—For more than 25 years, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has offered students a chance to participate in high level research early in their academic careers.

Since 1988 more than 10,000 first and second-year students have worked on research projects with faculty and research scientists across campus.

In 2007, the UROP Community College Summer Fellowship Program began offering similar opportunities to in-state community college students interested in transferring to U-M. The CCSFP offers a 10-week summer research fellowship to students in biomedical sciences, social sciences, humanities, engineering, or natural and environmental sciences.

A recent gift of $450,000 from the Patrice K. Aaron and D. Dan and Betty Kahn foundations will enable CCSFP to double the size of the program to support 50 students in the program for the next three years. The gift will also provide funding for five students annually in the Changing Gears Program, which provides research opportunities and academic support for community college students who transfer to U-M.

The summer program seeks to attract a diverse student population, including women, historically underrepresented and first generation college students, veterans and students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, according to Sandy Gregerman, UROP director.

Students accepted into the 10-week program have sufficient academic credentials to be eligible to apply for admission to U-M. They work 25-40 hours a week, depending on their research project and receive a stipend from $2,000 to $3,500. Housing stipends are available for students living outside Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Students may participate up to a year before they plan to transfer. Limited spaces are also available to newly admitted transfer students.

The priority deadline for applications is Feb. 28.

'"Through this program we hope to encourage more talented Michigan students to come to U-M and to ensure that those who come find academic success,"Gregerman said. "We know how invaluable it is to spend time on campus, develop relationships with faculty interested in your academic goals, and to be part of a supportive student community.

"We are incredibly grateful for the generous gift from the Kahn and Aaron foundations and the investment in our community college programs,'' Gregerman added. "Their support will benefit an extraordinary group of students."

Patrice Aaron said she decided to support the program and Changing Gears Program because of the transformative opportunities they offer students. Half of the funding has been provided by the foundation established by her parents, the late Betty and D. Dan Kahn.

"These programs enable students to experience U-M who might otherwise not have the opportunity" Aaron said. "What a great way to discover what it's like to work directly with a faculty mentor in an area of interest while learning more about campus life. The experience provided through this program can be and often is life-changing."

Choya Webb transferred to U-M last fall from Delta College in Saginaw after participating in the summer program.

"The University of Michigan is a place with numerous opportunities but it can be overwhelming when you're first navigating resources as a transfer student,'' said Webb, ajunior in LSA who plans to major in genetic counseling. "However, with the CCSFP, making the connections that could influence your academic and future professional career becomes manageable. The social support I received from UROP has become invaluable to my U of M experience."

 

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