The University of Maryland’s Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program will welcome one of its most diverse classes ever in the fall of 2020.
Since its founding in 1992, the undergraduate program has maintained a commitment to increasing student diversity, with the aim of enriching the learning experience of all members.
For the 2019-20 school year, QUEST received 245 applications, 14% of which were submitted by students who identify as black or Hispanic/Latinx, up from 8% the previous year. In March 2020, QUEST invited 90 first-year students to the program, 22% of whom identify as black or Hispanic/Latinx, up from 8% the year before.
Additionally, QUEST saw a sharp rise in female applicants — rising to 44% from 35% in 2018-19. In the fall 2020 semester, QUEST will hit another milestone, welcoming its first female majority, with 53% of accepted students.
"It is critical that we invite students with many different backgrounds and experiences,” says Rachel DiDonna, program coordinator for QUEST. “The more perspectives we can bring to the classroom, the more our students, faculty, and staff will be able to learn from, and grow with, each other."
Open to students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and the Robert H. Smith School of Business, QUEST is a highly regarded, highly selective program. Once admitted, students complete 17 credits through the QUEST curriculum, working in multidisciplinary teams in each course.
"We are excited to have more diverse perspectives in our classrooms, as we believe teams are strongest when they're diverse,” says Jessica Roffe, assistant director for QUEST. “We look forward to continuing to see these numbers grow and bring in even more perspectives."