How to Build and Run a Successful Emerging Scholars Program
A 2008 MAA Summer PREP Workshop

Workshop Leaders:
Dave Kung, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Teri Murphy, University of Oklahoma
Katherine Socha, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Natasha Speer, Michigan State University


Workshop Dates:
July 17, 2008 through July 19, 2008
(official workshop events will conclude by 2pm on the 19th to allow participants to return home that day.)

2007 workshop

2007 workshop particpants hard at work.

Workshop Description:
Success in college calculus opens the door to mathematics and science majors. However, students from under-represented groups typically do not perform in calculus as well as other students with comparable preparation.

Question: What can you do to level the playing field for your students?

Answer: Start your own Emerging Scholars Program!

Emerging Scholars Programs (ESPs) promote exceptional achievement among under-represented student populations and provide a model that is easily expanded to other introductory science courses, as has been demonstrated at many institutions of higher education.

Developed by Uri Treisman and implemented during the past 20 years at a variety of schools across the US, ESP workshops build student success through collaborative group work on problems more challenging than typical calculus problems. Led by faculty and teaching assistants, a typical ESP workshop focuses on student-driven approaches to difficult worksheet problems, with Socratic questioning forming the primary assistance given by the ESP leaders.

This PREP workshop, now in its second year, will provide you with the tools you need to plan, establish, and run an ESP at your institution. You will learn about successful models from many institutions from liberal arts colleges through research universities. Workshop participants will receive (1) training time with Uri Treisman, (2) ESP materials including problems and an ESP director's guide, (3) practice developing and leading (simulated) ESP meetings including writing worksheet problems, (4) ongoing support through an online forum and through follow-up meetings at the Joint Mathematics Meetings and MathFest, and (5) access to a database of thousands of calculus problems appropriate for workshop use.

The final workshop day will be devoted to implementation issues including how to obtain administration buy-in and support. Each participant (or pair of participants) will draft a proposal to his/her home institution for piloting ESP. The full group will discuss each proposal and help each participant (a) revise the proposal and (b) anticipate potential challenges to its implementation.

We strongly encourage participants to come in pairs from the same institution or from neighbor institutions.

What Last Year's Participants Thought:
Workshop Location and Accomodations:
The workshop will be held at the MAA's beautiful, recently opened Carriage House in Washington DC.

[Note: this is a change from previous versions.] Our housing will be at Carlyle Suites Hotel. 1731 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.,

Washington, DC 20009-2567

(866) 492-0031

(202) 905-0016

“Washington’s Official Art-Deco Hotel”, just five minutes’ walk from the MAA Carriage House. The hotel offers:

Breakfast will be provided at the hotel. Lunches during the workshop will be served at the Carriage House. Both breakfast and lunch are provided as part of the program.


Registration is now open at the MAA's PREP Website. Registration costs $325 until June 5th, and $450 afterwards. This cost includes housing for the nights of the 16th-18th, and food from the evening of the 16th through lunch on the 19th.

Arrival and Check-in:

Plan to arrive during the late afternoon or evening of Wednesday, July 16th.

Weather Information:

Washington D.C. is hot and humid during the summer, though probably not as hot or humid as Austin Texas, site of the 2007 workshop. We urge you to check your favorite weather reports on the web before coming.

Pre-workshop Readings:
In preparation for the workshop, all participants should read two articles about Emerging Scholars Programs and their implementation:
Reading these articles will be vital to making our workshop a productive experience. (And they are better reading than those in-flight magazines!)

Tentative Schedule:

Day 0: Wednesday evening
Welcome Dinner
Day 1: Thursday, July 17th
Intro/History of Emerging Scholars with Uri Treisman
Being an ESP student
Writing ESP problems & worksheets
Facilitating an ESP class
Day 2: Friday, July 18th
Directing an ESP
Designing your ESP
Gaining institutional support
Worktime (developing your ESP)
Day 3: Saturday, July 19th
Assessment and Evaluation of ESPs
Presentation of Plans
Local Resources: [coming soon!]

There are many restaurants, cafes, and other shops (drugstores, etc) near GWU and the MAA headquarters. Restaurants:



This page was last updated 04/01/08.