Challenge is often referred to “The Ultimate Academic Pre-Season." The term Pre-Season comes from professional sports. In most professional sports, teams practice and compete in simulated games in order to prepare for the upcoming season ahead. No team starts the first day of the regular season without having practiced and prepared beforehand. We recommend a similar approach before starting your first semester at Georgia Tech. After all, being a student can be compared to having a profession. As a student, you are expected to perform at a certain level; you compete with other students for excellence; and your performance is evaluated at the end of every semester (season).
Georgia Institute of Technology accepts some of the brightest students in the world. Its academic workload has been described as rigorous and highly competitive. Attending the Challenge program will allow students to get a glimpse of this rigor and competitive nature. By “practicing” how to handle this environment, Challenge students will be better prepared in the fall, when the “regular season” begins.
Benefits of Challenge
Academic Head Start
The RUT THEORY states that, on average, half-way through a student’s second year (their third semester), the GPA that student has obtained will likely be same GPA they graduate with (give or take a few 1/100ths of a point). Consequently, taking advantage of an opportunity to gain an academic head start before entering your first fall semester is a benefit that exceeds most other summer experiences.
In many cases, college life can be the first step towards independence. College is a time when most students leave home for the first time in their lives. In some cases, this process of independence can be overwhelming to students. A student overwhelmed by the freedoms of college can easily lose focus on academics resulting in poor performance.
In Challenge, students are given the same independence that Georgia Tech will present them in the fall. One major difference, however, is that Challenge participants have OMED staff and Challenge Counselors (Georgia Tech juniors and seniors) there to guide them. Our job is to help students ease into the independent environment of Georgia Tech, so when fall arrives, they will not be overwhelmed. OMED and Challenge will also help students’ improve their time management skills, which will aid in effectively managing their independence.
Monetary Rewards and Giveaways
During Challenge, there are constant giveaways, awards, scholarships, and various opportunities to win prizes. Those are among the many incentives that the program offers, but perhaps, the greatest incentive is the opportunity for EACH student to earn their Challenge fee back.
New People and Lifelong Network
Think back to when you were in high school and a new student entered in the middle of the semester. Do you remember thinking how glad you were that you didn’t have to start over and make new friends? The Challenge program will prevent you from feeling like that “new student." When your classes start in the fall, there will be more than 2,500 freshmen and more than 15,000 total students on campus. Attending the Challenge program will assure that you have met at least 80-100 of these students; not to mention the various students, faculty, and staff that are on campus during the summer. Living in a freshman dorm and interacting with other freshmen and upperclassmen will allow Challenge participants to form early bonds that will help them adjust to their first semester at Georgia Tech.
Throughout Challenge, several of our corporate sponsors work directly with students. Not only will they help them to develop critical skills for acquiring internships, co-ops and jobs, they often hire Challenge participants that engaged in the program.