A unique partnership between BP and the University of Toledo is going to develop Toledo Public Schools students into engineers.

Select TPS students will earn full tuition and money for academic-related fees through the new Rocket Engineering Prep Program. The students will attend the UT College of Engineering in exchange for successfully completing three summers of enrichment and mentoring programs during high school.

The goal of the program is to support an increase in both the number and success of students who represent the diversity of the Toledo community.

The new partnership was announced at a news conference that was held at the University of Toledo on Tuesday, April 19. The first class of TPS students in the program were introduced at the event.

Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, said that he is particularly happy about this latest partnership because it's "another example of higher education and local companies partnering together to ensure that Toledo Public School students are both college and career ready."

Another aspect that he particularly likes is the emphasis on summer assistance programs, which will help students transition to college without a problem.

“Thanks to the generosity of BP we will be able to increase the success of local high school students in engineering careers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “This is an exciting program to encourage talented local students to stay in our community and to support their education and career achievements.”

The Rocket Engineering Prep Program begins the summer after the students' sophomore year of high school, when they will visit the UT campus and receive assistance in preparing for 11th grade, the ACT and college success. They also will be introduced to engineering disciplines and careers through activities and field trips. The students will participate in a similar program the following summer.

Following their high school graduation, the participants will live on campus that summer and enroll in UT courses for a head start on their college career.

“BP is investing in our community by encouraging local high school students to explore the engineering sciences and providing the resources and support that will help them succeed here at UT and in their future careers,” UT College of Engineering Dean Nagi Naganathan said.

He added, “Our graduates are creative problem solvers and leaders in their fields. We look forward to having more TPS graduates succeed as UT engineering students and alumni.”

Posted on April 22, 2016