MITES supports MIT's mission to provide all of our students with the intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community and to serve the nation's need for a diverse pool of highly qualified scientists and engineers, including underrepresented minorities. The program has taken a strategic approach to fulfill that mission. Our objectives are to:

  1. Develop participants' problem-solving skills while providing them with a thorough understanding of the foundational academic principles required for success in their technical and scientific career pursuits.

  2. Provide students with an introduction to the scope of possibilities in engineering, entrepreneurship, and science careers, so that participants are informed, inspired, and deeply motivated by clearer visions of their personal career paths.

  3. Build students' confidence in their academic and leadership abilities so that they can manage and resolve ostensibly insurmountable challenges in high school, college and beyond.

  4. Foster skills to work productively and creatively in an increasingly racially diverse world.

On these objectives, the MITES Program constructs three pillars of learning:

  1. Learning Content: We expect each participant to become proficient in the subject matter and strengthen his or her analytical problem-solving skills to creatively solve novel problems. Students select five courses out of 13 offerings to closely align their interests and academic levels within their "zone of development."

  2. Learning about Learning: We expect participants to develop their metacognition - an understanding of their most effective mental and learning processes. Students are given midterm evaluations that suggest specific learning strategies based on their academic performance and enthusiasm for learning. Descriptive final evaluations assess each student's academic outcomes and evaluate how effectively the student deploys the learning strategies recommended during the midterm evaluations. Our goal is to help students learn how to regulate their own learning and to recognize when to discard ineffective, or adopt new, learning strategies and work habits to improve their academic outcomes.

  3. Learning about Self: Learning is often influenced by one's life experiences, culture, and racial and ethnic identity. Rather than suppress identity, we encourage students to share and celebrate their cultures. By doing so, we advance an affirming message that cultural diversity and academic achievement should be connected.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of Engineering Outreach Programs

Building 1-123, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02139