End of high school admissions program concerns prospective engineering students


Photo by Andrew Dyer

by Daniel Guerrero, Contributor

High school students who are interested in pursuing engineering at San Diego State may be in for a surprise.

SDSU College of Engineering’s preferred admissions program with Project Lead the Way ended this August, making the 2018-19 high school graduating seniors the last to be eligible for the program.

The SDSU Preferred Admissions Program gave certain high school students in San Diego and Imperial counties preferred admission into SDSU’s College of Engineering. On average, the program enrolled 25 students into SDSU each year and, at times, had anywhere between 40 and 400 students pre-registered for the program, university spokesperson La Monica Everett-Haynes said in an email.

High school students graduating during the 2018-19 school year remain eligible for the program and will not face any changes in the program’s requirements, Everett Haynes said. Students beyond that, including this year’s high school juniors who may have been enrolled in the program, will no longer have the opportunity to gain preferred admission, according to the SDSU Admissions Office.

Despite the end of the preferred admissions program, Everett-Haynes said SDSU will still offer support and outreach for local students, which includes additional consideration for admission.

Students who participated in the program were required to meet GPA, general education, SAT and ACT requirements, among others, to be considered for preferred admission.

Computer engineering junior Joel Edquiban, who was previously enrolled in the program, said he is confused as to why SDSU would retire this program.

“I was a part of Project Lead The Way back in high school,” Edquiban said. “The fact that I heard about it ending here at State, it kind of perplexes me because it helps prepare people.”

Now that prospective local engineering students do not have the preferred admissions program, Edquiban said he thinks the path to SDSU will be a more difficult.

“It’s going to be a tough road,” Edquiban said. “With that gone, I feel like the struggle will be a lot more noticeable.”

Mechanical engineering junior Joe Stephens said he doesn’t think many students will be affected.

“I think most students rely on normal coursework and GPA,” he said. “They don’t really have that option of that program. I don’t think it will trouble them at all that, that (the) program is gone.”

Project Lead the Way is a non-profit organization that provides students with STEM-related coursework, according to the organization’s senior director of communications, Jennifer Erbacher. The national organization’s partnership with SDSU lasted nearly 15 years up until the program’s termination.

“San Diego State University has served as a Project Lead the Way affiliate university partner for 15 years and has offered the Project Lead the Way Preferred Admissions Program for 11 years,” Everett-Haynes said.

Students and families were encouraged to contact the SDSU Admissions and SDSU Prospective Student Center by phone at (619) 594-6336 or (855) 594-6336 or via email at admission@sdsu.edu for further information.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Project Lead the Way as an organization would be terminated. The Daily Aztec regrets this error.