The Prefreshman Engineering Program-USA (PREP-USA), under UTSA’s The Institute for P-20 Initiatives, is an academically rigorous mathematics-based summer enrichment program conducted at several college and university campuses in San Antonio, across the state of Texas, and Nation. PREP-USA identifies middle and high school students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and helps prepare those students for success in advanced studies and careers by providing them with a challenging academic program that emphasizes the development of abstract reasoning and problem solving skills and exposure to careers through career awareness speakers and field trips.
The original Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) was started in 1979 by UTSA mathematics professor Dr. Manuel P. Berriozábal. Seven years later, PREP expanded throughout the state of Texas and became known as the Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program, or TexPREP for short. In 1997, thanks to a grant from NASA, TexPREP continued to grow and expand across the Nation and is now known simply as PREP-USA.
Participation in PREP-USA is open to anyone, but PREP-USA particularly targets students who are from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM, including minorities, females, and low income students. PREP-USA’s goal is to increase the number of competently prepared students who ultimately pursue postsecondary studies and careers in STEM by stressing the development of abstract reasoning and problem solving skills, as well as the application of this knowledge through coursework, team projects, class presentations, and examinations.