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The goal of the AURAS program is to recruit and retain more students in engineering and science majors by
providing support for them in challenging freshman courses. Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) central features are a problem-based approach to learning with:
• a focus on high-level work rather than remediation (remediation is handled within the context of challenging work)
• a welcoming community with shared academic interests
• collaborative learning and small group interactions
• an underlying goal of increasing diversity by increasing minority student successes

The ESP model requires increased student time in a seminar/workshop setting to promote these key features and “learn how to learn” mathematics or chemistry. The ESP model has been adapted at over a hundred campuses across the nation and has been broadened to include a variety of introductory science and engineering courses as well as those in the introductory mathematics sequence. Research studies show that the ESP model positively impacts retention in a STEM-based major. Students, particularly minority students, who participate in an ESP for a specific mathematics or science course tend to earn higher grades in that course than their peers who do not participate.

The suggested criteria for entering the ESP program are:
  • Intended major in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or Chemistry disciplines
  • Approximately 3.0 – 3.5 GPA in high school coursework
  • First time, first semester freshmen
  • Do not have calculus college credit on entering UT Arlington
  • Preference is given to students who:
  • Are from groups historically underrepresented in science and engineering, including women and minorities
  • Are US citizens or permanent residents
  • Have significant financial challenges associated with pursuing and completing a college education
  • Click here to download the Emerging Scholars Program Application.
    The AURAS project incorporates the ESP model into two-semester math sequences starting with Precalculus
    or with Calculus I and single semesters of General Chemistry I or Chemistry for Engineers. In addition to the regular lecture and labs associated with the courses ESP students will be required to attend two two-hour ESP seminar/workshops per week for Precalculus and Calculus I and one four-hour ESP workshop per week for Chemistry. The UT Arlington ESP programs in mathematics and chemistry require participants to enroll in a special section of calculus, for example, that have the ESP workshops as extra designated lab time with no additional credit-hour enrollment required. The ESP sections of Pre-Calculus, Calculus I or Chemistry will provide the same credit hours as the regular sections and will have the same tuition cost as the regular sections.


    For Fall 2012, the ESP classes (each for about 25 students) are:
    ·  Math 1323 (Pre-Calculus II) section 110 meets T Th 9:30 – 10:50 (lecture) and Th 2:00 – 3:50 (seminar).
    ·  Math 1426 (Calculus I) sections 710 or 720 meet  T Th 12:30 – 1:50 (lecture) plus W 1:00 – 2:50 or 3:00 – 4:50 (seminar).   Lab section 107 meets T Th 11:00 – 11:50.
    ·  Chem 1441 (Gen Chem I) combined lecture/seminar sections 401 - 404, and a regular lab section (sections 101 - 126). The lecture times for sections 401-404 vary, but all have the seminar Th 1:00 - 4:50
    ·  Chem 1465 (Gen Chem for Engineers) combined lecture/seminar sections 301 or 302, and a regular lab section (sections 101 - 108). Both of the lecture/seminar sections (301 and 302) meet T Th 9:30 - 10:50 with the seminar Th 1:00 – 2:50 or 3:00 - 4:50


    In mathematics, most of the weight of the lab grade comes from the regular lab but some comes from the extended ESP, e.g., attendance, participation, presentation. For Chemistry, we offer an ESP Chemistry for Engineers both semesters and a General Chemistry I both semesters. The Chemistry plan is to have a one semester ESP program followed by assigning students to a mentor for one semester as part of the program. We use the ESP courses in math and chemistry as gateways to the authentic experiences including undergraduates in research opportunities. It is intended that only students who go through an ESP for at least one semester would be eligible for the AURAS authentic experiences opportunities.
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