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UD Sinclair Academy Grows to 30 Pathways

Oscar Ntakontagize knows one thing for sure: He wants to be a chemical engineer. What wasn’t so clear was how he’d get the education he needs for his dream career.

Ntakontagize said he found the answer in the UD Sinclair Academy, a partnership between the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College designed to ease the pathway to a four-year degree.

“Before I was wondering, how can I come here?,” Ntakontagize said of UD. “But finally I found that through the Academy, they gave me enough scholarships and I have some research opportunities, which is very important to me.”

Ntakontagize and 12 other UD Sinclair Academy students will transfer to UD’s campus this fall, after earning associate degrees at Sinclair. A growing number of students are also enrolling in the Academy and starting classes at Sinclair. The program also has increased to 30 majors, including communication, accounting, marketing, early childhood education, exercise science, engineering, and others.

The Academy helps remove financial hurdles that might exist for some students, making a four-year education more accessible and affordable. Academy students lock in tuition for their junior and senior years at the rate in effect when they enter the Academy. They’re eligible for merit scholarships worth up to $17,000, additional grants funded by the University, federal government or state government, as well as a textbook scholarship of up to $2,000 and a $3,000 study-abroad scholarship. They also have access to University facilities and amenities, including athletic events, peer mentoring and the opportunity to join student clubs while taking classes at Sinclair.

“Students have always had the opportunity to transfer from Sinclair to UD, and both institutions have long traditions of preparing graduates for careers in our community and beyond,” said Julia Thompson, associate director of admission and financial aid. “But with the Academy, they are a part of both campus families from day one, with support from both schools to make the transition smooth and set them up for success.”

Ntakontagize said the opportunity to do research with UD faculty was key to his future. This summer he was in the lab of Donald Klosterman, associate professor of chemical and materials engineering, as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program. He worked on the fabrication and testing of advanced composite materials similar to those used in boats, aircraft, bridges, wind turbine blades and sporting goods.

“These research experiences are invaluable for students like Oscar because they go way beyond a normal college lab class and expose the students to how research and work gets done in the ‘real world,’” Klosterman said.

Ntakontagize said he plans to apply to graduate school after earning his chemical engineering degree from UD.

Prospective Academy students have until Sept. 1 to apply for the fall semester. More information is available online at udayton.edu/academy.


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