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About Engineering Smart Start

We are very excited that your student has either attended or will be attending a “see blue” U Orientation. This means they are one step closer to pursuing their engineering education at UK.

As you know, math is a very important foundation for engineering classes and progression in calculus can determine a student’s success. We are committed to student success here at the University of Kentucky and want to invite your student to participate in Engineering Smart Start (ESS) this summer to help meet these academic goals.

As ESS participants, the students will participate in a 4-week on-campus summer program focusing on individually tailored online Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) math modules which will move them toward being calculus ready for the fall semester. ALEKS PPL combines a research-based, accurate placement assessment with personalized learning tools to help students refresh knowledge related to math preparedness. ALEKS PPL gives these students the opportunity to prepare for math before they even begin class. An ALEKS exam at the end of the program will determine if the students are able to enter calculus in the fall semester. As they work through the modules, they will work with academic coaches to set goals and learn study strategies, time management tips, and organizational skills to help them be successful at UK. The academic coaches will also monitor their progression through the math modules. The academic coaches will not only assist them during the summer but will be available for guidance throughout their freshman year.

In addition to ALEKS modules, tutoring, and coaching, ESS students will participate in engineering spatial visualization exercises to develop this foundational engineering skill; become acquainted with career opportunities in their chosen major; meet professors and develop a peer network on campus; design and build projects in our campus Makerspace, and learn how to implement academic and personal strategies that are proven to enhance success in the engineering program. Each student will be assigned a peer mentor who will work with them during this four-week program. Finally, ESS students will also engage in a service-learning project that will earn them a Civic Engagement Badge from the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

The Engineering Smart Start Program runs from July 6-31 and students will be housed in one of our residence halls. There is no cost to attend the program. Housing is provided and participants will be provided with $25/day to cover meals. In addition, students who successfully complete the program and move on to Calculus for the Fall semester will be awarded a small first-year scholarship.

Only 25 spots are available so we encourage your student to apply early. Information about the program, along with the application, can be found at www.engr.uky.edu/smart-start.

Please feel free to contact me or Susan Herrick if you have any questions. I can be reached at by phone at 859-257-1864 or by email at kimberly.anderson@uky.edu. Susan can be reached by phone at 859-257-4881 or by email at slherr1@uky.edu.

We look forward to receiving your student’s application for this program.


Kimberly Ward Anderson
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor, Chemical Engineering