The Summer Program to Advance Leadership in STEM (S-PAL) is a six-week launchpad to life at Lafayette for selected incoming first-year students who show academic promise in science, technology, engineering or math and have demonstrated the potential to become leaders in STEM.

Imagine having the opportunity to experience life as a college student for six weeks before your first year officially begins. S-PAL enables new students to not just get a feel for the campus community and take two college classes, but to also learn more about STEM opportunities at Lafayette. This helps S-PAL students give consideration to which of these majors they may see themselves long-term.

The Summer Program to Advance Leadership (S-PAL) includes several components that advances students’ leadership skills and sets them up for both social and academic success:

  • Upon arriving at Lafayette, S-PAL students are housed together to help them bond as a community, giving them a place to get to know their new peers outside of the classroom.
  • S-PAL students engage in a variety of short lab modules and field trips that introduce them to many science and engineering fields and help them get to know the city of Easton, the Lehigh Valley, and the surrounding tri-state area. They also enroll in two credit-bearing Summer Session II courses, Writing Seminar (English 100) and Calculus I (Math 161).
  • Students work with the program staff – including full-time student program assistants for writing, mathematics, and residential – which helps them build an immediate network.

Priority for participation is given to students who identify with groups that have been historically minoritized in science and engineering such as social identities based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability. We also give preference to students who are the first in their family to go to college, who are eligible for Pell Grants, and who are coming from outside of the local region (PA/NJ/NY).

Room, board, and tuition are covered by the program and the students receive a stipend at the completion of the program.