Now in its third year, LMU’s ACCESS program — A Community Committed to Excellence in scientific scholarship — helps first- year students in the Frank r. seaver College of science and Engineering develop critical thinking skills and create a collaborative community of learning.
“We want to make students aware of the resources available at LMU and have them take advantage of them,” says Ed Mosteig, director of ACCESS and an associate professor of mathematics. “But the biggest resource they have is each other.”
During the three-week residential summer program, students work together on projects as well as receive academic preparation and career planning advice, including information about research and graduate school. students also must complete an ACCEss course in the fall and spring semesters.
“It’s advantageous for students to think about the next step so they can take concrete, tangible steps along the way,” Mosteig says. “It’s great for students to explore. We expose them to all the different facets of math and science.”
In addition, students visit various business and government agencies, such as dreamWorks Animation, Jet propulsion Laboratory and the Hyperion Treatment plant, to learn about the different ways math and science apply in real-world situations. The visits also serve as glimpses of potential career paths.
Mosteig is amazed at how strong the learning community has grown in three years. Many participants, now upper classmen, have leadership roles or serve as teaching assistants. He hopes that these future ACCESS graduates will come back to mentor others.