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Building Communities

Build a strong community

When you engage in our College retention programs, you offer students the opportunity to understand how curriculum in the classroom applies to the real world and what future engineering career opportunities await them.

We have a variety of initiatives that strive to build a connection between the students and their new home from their first days on campus. These programs endeavor to build both social and academic engagement, which provides them with the skills they will need to be successful during their time on campus, resulting in much higher student retention during the freshman and sophomore years. You can participate in any of these activities. We’re ready to work with you to plan out something specific to your company that will have the greatest impact for you and our students.

Freshman Fest

Freshman Fest welcomes the incoming engineering freshman class to the College with food, activities, and fun during the first week of classes. Opportunities for extracurricular activities are presented by student groups at booths throughout the event. This event creates a foundation to build a supportive environment for our students.

Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering (WIE) offers a mentoring class for women engineering students. Benefits include:

  • Each incoming student is paired with an engineering upperclassman and a faculty member.
  • Seminar speakers from corporations and academia make presentations to the class on professional and leadership skills.
  • Corporate mentors provide electronic mentoring to the participants.

The course provides women with professional and leadership skills and offers an opportunity for networking among undergraduate students, graduate students, and women faculty members. Program participants are three times more likely to remain in The Grainger College of Engineering than women who do not participate.

Student Assisted Guidance in Engineering

Student Assisted Guidance in Engineering (SAGE) is designed to support first-year students who enter The Grainger College of Engineering with slightly lower admission scores than the majority of the first-year engineering class. Underserved populations (minorities, females, first-generation students, and students from inner cities and rural areas) are targeted. The class focuses on academic success strategies, engineering disciplines, and careers, and helps connect these students to the engineering community at Illinois by building on their knowledge of the resources offered in The Grainger College of Engineering. SAGE participants show a higher retention rate compared to students with the same entry level scores who did not participate.