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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Sept. 24, 2003

Students get chance to take "second step"

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn has partnered with Ford Motor Company and Fast Switch, Ltd. to launch a new initiative to provide opportunities and support for community college students who might not otherwise have the resources to complete a four-year degree program in information technology at UM-Dearborn.

Project Second Step is a pilot program that will provide financial support through flexible full-time employment and tuition reimbursement to UM-Dearborn students studying information technology.

Students will be employed at Fast Switch, a privately held information technology services firm which supplies services to Ford. Ford Motor Company will provide contract positions in its information technology department for project participants.
Fast Switch will provide students with full employee benefits, as well as complete tuition reimbursement for enrollment at UM-Dearborn.

The pilot project will begin with this fall with three students. To be considered, candidates must have completed, or be in the process of completing, an associate's degree. They must also be admissible to UM-Dearborn's College of Engineering and Computer Science, in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in a technical discipline related to information technology, and demonstrate financial need.

"I'm proud that we were able to provide quality candidates for the program who come from various community colleges," said Pamela Lee, assistant director of admissions and orientation at UM-Dearborn. "Making the transition to a four-year school is a difficult process and we are excited about the opportunity to assist some of the best and brightest students from the local community colleges."

For more information about Project Second Step, contact Lee at (313) 583-6323.

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