The Summer Program to Advance Leadership in STEM (SPAL) is a six-week launchpad to life at Lafayette for selected incoming first-year students.

The Summer Program to Advance Leadship, S-PAL, is a strength-based summer transition program. It is modeled after the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County which has had enormous success in increasing retention and academic performance of historically marginalized undergraduates in STEM.

Who? At least ten students selected from the incoming class who show academic promise in science, math, or engineering and have demonstrated the potential to become leaders in STEM. Priority for participation is given to students from groups that are minoritized in science and engineering at Lafayette: such as students coming from outside of the local region (PA/NJ/NY), students from low-income families, those who do not identify as male, ethnic minorities and students who are the first in their family to go to college.

In addition to the many faculty and staff members involved, the program is staffed with three full-time student Program Assistants—one for writing, one for mathematics, and one residential—who are available to help students adjust to campus life both academically and socially.

What? Students in SPAL participate in two credit-bearing seminars: Writing Seminar (English 100) and Calculus I (Math 161), during Summer Session II. They’ll also participate in a variety of short lab modules and field trips that introduce them to many science and engineering fields, the Lafayette College campus, and Easton, PA.

Students (SPALers and student staff) are housed together, optimally in a residence hall with kitchen access, to help them gel as a community. There is no cost to students to participate, and on completion of the program they receive a small stipend.

Benefits: Meet faculty, staff and students of Lafayette to get geared up for ever greater success. Get acclimated to campus and academic life in a concentrated supportive atmosphere before Fall semester begins. Become part of a diverse cohort of talented students and tap into a network of fellow SPAL students in all years and all majors at Lafayette.