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Villanova University College of Engineering Hosts National LEAD Engineering Program

Students from across the region, and as far away as California and Puerto Rico, will visit Villanova for a three-week on-campus program focused on engineering.

LEAD’s mission is to increase the number and quality of diversified students interested in careers in engineering and other technical fields.

VILLANOVA, Pa., July 5, 2010 – Villanova University’s College of Engineering will host some of the nation’s top students of diversity for three weeks to give them a glimpse of college life and early exposure to the field of engineering as part of the national Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Engineering program.  The curriculum will integrate a sustainability theme, and over the course of the three-week, on-campus program, students will learn in interactive engineering classes, visit regional companies, hear from guest speakers and tour the Villanova campus to learn about some of the latest sustainability in engineering initiatives.

“We’re thrilled that LEAD has selected Villanova’s College of Engineering as the regional partner that will bring its national program to life for these high school students,” says Dr. Stephen Jones, Associate Dean, Student and Strategic Programs. “Participants will not only learn about the importance of sustainability in engineering, but they will also experience it through the lens of Villanova Engineering – which blends technical excellence with liberal arts, leadership development, and the belief that engineering can advance the greater good.”

Nearly 30 male and female students ages 16 and 17 will come from as far as California and Puerto Rico to take part in the selective national program, which is also hosted by Georgia Tech, University of Virginia, University of Michigan and University of California-Berkeley. Classes start July 11 and instruction will be provided by Villanova’s Engineering faculty, with students in the college serving as mentors. The students will also take several local field trips to sites including PECO and the Fairmount Waterworks, as well as the New York offices of Google, a LEAD corporate sponsor.

The program’s goals aim to raise students’ awareness about the various types of engineering majors, increase their understanding of careers that will emphasize sustainability, enable them to participate in actual engineering research and highlight the fact that engineering is integral to success of every society. Students will get the added benefit of experiencing what college education and life is like.

Villanova’s College of Engineering is a regional leader in STEM education outreach, a national endeavor that focuses on improving middle and high school students’ interest and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math-related subjects. The College’s faculty and students have developed and executed STEM programs on a wide range of engineering topics, which have impacted hundreds of students from the greater Philadelphia area and the Mid-Atlantic region.

LEAD was founded nearly 30 years ago as a national partnership of top U.S. corporations and graduate business schools encouraging talented students from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in business. LEAD Engineering was launched in 2008 as a response to the high volume of LEAD Business applicants indicating an interest in the field of engineering. The program’s mission is to lay the foundation through an intense curriculum for an increase in the number and quality of diversified students interested in careers in engineering and other technical fields. To be considered students submitted an application to the LEAD program and were selected by the program’s directors.

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Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.