Georgetown University program gives Qatar’s high school students an academic edge
34 students from 24 different high schools in Qatar attended the closing ceremony of the Georgetown Pre-College Summer (GPS) Program held on the campus of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q). At the ceremony participants received a certificate of successful completion of the program, and heard student speeches, and remarks from GU-Q staff and instructors.
The uniquely inclusive GPS preparatory program, which is held over 3 weeks and is now in its sixth year, is open to all of Qatar’s future university students, whether they plan on enrolling at GU-Q, other universities in Qatar, or abroad. The full-time classes and activities that take place on campus and are taught completely in English by GU-Q staff. Classes taught are English, Math, SAT prep, and an introduction to international affairs. The SAT classes are delivered through Score Plus, a local prep company that is certified by the Princeton Review, and which provides students with tools proven to increase SAT scores. The introduction to international affairs covers international politics, international economics, international history, and culture & politics, which are the major fields of study available at GU-Q. In addition to in-class teaching, this year’s program took an off-site field trip to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Contemporary Art to study art and society.
“During GPS students undergo rigorous academic preparation that will help them succeed in high school as well as at the university level. Every year students see an improvement in their math and English levels, and their ability to think critically and problem solve. The aim of the program is for the students to feel more prepared to join university and thrive,” said Jacqui Snell, Educational Enrichment Manager at GU-Q and the GPS organizer. “In addition to academics, students are able to interact with peers from a great diversity of nationalities and educational backgrounds. By the end of the program they have formed new friendships and have gained a greater understanding of other cultures and people.”
Due to the academic nature of the program, GPS admissions requires applicants to have good academic standing and English language fluency. This year, 76 students applied for only 40 available program positions.
“GPS is a great opportunity for high school students coming from different educational backgrounds to get a taste of the college experience. It provides students with valuable information and skills such as skimming, solving mathematical equations and conducting research, while they gain a sense of responsibility and commitment through the assignments provided by the instructors. Students also learn about aspects of teamwork and critical thinking through various fun activities conducted during the program. In addition to getting an opportunity to experience university life, the students also create long lasting friendships with their peers,” said Warda Elkhalifa, a peer tutor from GU-Q.
Family, friends, instructors, and GU-Q Dean of Students, Dr. Brendan Hill, attended the Closing Ceremony and the following sit-down dinner, to share in celebrating the students' hard work.