What is MSP?
Maximizing Science Potential (MSP) is modeled after the MESA Engineering Program (MEP), is designed to recruit, retain and graduate qualified minority students in the rigorous disciplines of science, such as physics, math, chemistry, computer science, astronomy, and geology. Located on the campus of San Diego State University, MSP serves African Americans; Mexican and Latino Americans; Native Americans; and Puerto Ricans, since these groups have been historically underrepresented in the science professions. Our objective is to enhance students' ability to achieve a high level of success in their academic pursuits, thus increasing the number of underrepresented minority students who obtain degrees. We are particularly proud of our success with MSP because the majority of the students lack ideal preparation for college-level work and are first generation college students.
MSP attempts to create a smooth and thorough transition from the time a student is admitted to the University to the time classes begins. To facilitate this transition, called matriculation, the program provides assistance with registration, financial aid, academic advisement, placement tests, and other necessities required by each student.
New Student Orientation Class
Although MSP supports students throughout their tenure at the Univeristy, the most intensive support is given during the critical freshman year. MSP offers an orientation course which focuses on assisting the student in transition to the new environment of a university. The orientation emphasizes effective study skills, explores career options, and assists in developing a network amoung students, in order to foster an attitude of mutual support.
Counseling Services and Workshops
Studies have shown that lower-division math and science courses are difficult for entering students. Academic advising helps each student to develop a plan of study, and to select appropriate courses. When possible, MSP also clusters its students in common sections of difficult courses. This lessens feelings of isolation and encourages students to study together. Courses in math, chemistry, and physics have been targeted for intensive study outide the classroom in small group workshops.
Personal couseling helps the MSP student to iron out financial, family, and other problems that can interfere with university studies.
Events and Activities
MSP, along with MEP, hosts many social and academic events throughout the academic year. "Shadow Day" provides students with the opportunity to see first hand how profssional scientists work by pairing up a student with a professional for the day. "Calculator Olympics" allows students to compete academically in teams against other SDSU-MEP/MSP students, as well as UCSD-MEP, Southwestern College-MEP, and MESA high school seniors. Teams of four students each complete a worksheet filled with problems from Algebra, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes are given in each of three difficulty levels.
May 15th – June 15th 2014
Apply online via our sister program MEP.
Thelma C. Chavez
Maximizing Science Potential (MSP)
Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia
College of Sciences GMCS 322B
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-1016