Why STEMCats?

Why STEMCats?

STEMCats, sponsored by HHMI, is designed to help students succeed at UK. The program prepares students both academically and socially through participation in FastTrack, research opportunities, and special seminar courses. Students participating in STEMCats will build confidence, enthusiasm, satisfaction and a sense of belonging to UK, and experience a smoother transition to college coursework. This leads to improved performance and higher academic achievement.

Benefits of the STEMCats program include:

  • FastTrack is a week-long, intensive programs designed especially for incoming, first-year students. FastTrack gives students an early start in math, biology and chemistry courses.

  • Participation in research in your first year at UK.

  • An introductory course discussing careers in STEM disciplines.

  • Opportunities to get to know other students who are interested in the same major.

  • Ability to move in early and beat the rest of the University freshmen traffic.

  • Guaranteed housing in one of UK's new residence halls.

  • Familiarization with campus before classes begin.

  • Social activities to assist in building friendships.

  • Study groups to help develop effective study habits.

  • Special orientation program that provides activities to help students acclimate to the rigor of college academics and social life.

  • Peer mentors who are role models and resources throughout the year.

  • Guidance in facilitating the “correct fit” for a STEM major.

 

Learning Outcomes

Early engagement of STEM freshmen along with residential education will result in the following learning goals and outcomes.

  1. Increase awareness of Career Alternatives.
  2. Creating lasting bonds with peers, faculty and staff.
  3. Develop social, academic and research networks and well-being.
  4. Develop effective study habits to deftly and successfully make progress toward degree.
  5. Provide support through FastTrack to assist in the transition to the college-level academic rigor and expectations through preparatory coursework (FastTrack) in math, biology, chemistry and pre-sophomore preparatory course work in physics.
  6. Provides activities to help students acclimatize to college academic rigor and social life.
  7. Foster a supportive living learning community with live-in peer mentors who successfully attended this program.
  8. Increase student awareness and appreciation for alternate STEM careers and educational paths
  9. Sustain their interest in the sciences and facilitate higher achievements in learning through early introduction to authentic research. 
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