The highly competitive University of Illinois engineering school hopes to level the playing field for students who may not have had the strongest high school math and science education by “red shirting” aspiring, young engineers, according to an article from WCIA3 News. The university joins Washington State and Colorado, two schools that have already applied the system that works in athletics to academics.
In sports, players may “red shirt” their freshmen year, giving them an added year of eligibility while they get ready to play. In the case of aspiring engineers, students would enter a five-year program where the first year would be a bridge from high school to college to help prepare them for an engineering program, according to Kevin Pitts, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering. An $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will reportedly help cover costs for the extra year of school the program requires.
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