Frequently Asked Questions about the Summer Transition Enrichment Program
Use the links below to learn more about various aspects of the program!
- What is STEP? The Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP) is a seven-week residential academic institute for select incoming multicultural and first-generation first-year students at American University. While the entire campus is involved with STEP, the Office of Campus Life's Center for Diversity & Inclusion manages the program. STEP introduces participants to the AU community and helps them make a smooth transition to college life.
- How are students selected for STEP? Participation in STEP is determined solely by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The Admissions staff recommends students for STEP based on the assessment that the students' overall application credentials indicate strong potential for success at AU. They require that these students undergo focused supplemental instruction and preparation for the high school to college transition as a condition of their admission to AU.
- How many students are enrolled in STEP? The number of participants in STEP varies from year to year, but historically has landed between 40 and 50 students.
- How do I enroll in STEP? In order to enroll in STEP, participants need to complete the STEP registration form. Once completed, you may fax it to our office at (202) 885-1168. You can also submit it via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete it online (link can be found on the STEP homepage).
- Can I work a part-time job during STEP? Typically, we do not suggest that students work during STEP. The academic schedule will be rigorous, and managing other commitments in addition to that tends to be challenging for students. During the summer, we will provide opportunities for students to connect with potential employers for on-campus jobs for the academic year.
COST OF PROGRAM
- What are the associated costs of the program? Each STEP student receives financial support to cover most on-site expenses incurred during the seven weeks of the program. Covered expenses include the following:
- tuition for summer classes (up to four credits in consultation with your academic advisor)
- housing (on-campus housing is mandatory for all STEP participants, visit the Housing, Dining, & Transportation section to learn more)
- meal plan (meal swipes and EagleBucks)
- registration fee for Eagle Summit Session III (parents and guests of students will still incur a fee to participate in Eagle Summit; visit Orientation, Transition and Retention for more information)
- the Pre-College Writing Seminar (mandatory for all STEP participants, regardless of AP credit)
- on-campus tutoring and referrals to other campus academic support services
- workshops and university-sponsored extracurricular activities
- use of AU's academic, athletic, and recreational facilities
- Students will be responsible for some meals, transportation, and personal expenses while attending STEP.
- Financial Aid after STEP. Students are encouraged to resolve any outstanding issues with a financial aid counselor prior to their arrival at AU for STEP. STEP students will have time to connect with the Financial Aid Office to discuss their financial aid packages for the year, if necessary. E-mail email@example.com with any questions that you may have about that process.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
- Can I change my arrival or departure date to STEP? All requests must be submitted to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (ATTN: Marlena McKnight, Assistant Director) via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (202-885-3650) by May 15, 2015.
- Can I stay on campus after the program is over? The Center for Diversity & Inclusion can not guarantee housing for the interim time between the end of STEP and the beginning of classes. If staying on-campus is your preferred option, please get in touch with CDI staff.
- What do I need to take care of prior to arrival? All health insurance and immunization forms should be submitted to the Student Health Center prior to arriving to campus for STEP.
- You must have health insurance in order to participate in STEP. You may either enroll in the AU Student Health Insurance Plan or use a plan of your choice. Students with non-AU insurance should bring a copy of their insurance card. Click here to learn more about the student insurance requirements and contact us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
HOUSING, DINING, & TRANSPORTATION
- Housing. Students are required to live in university residence halls during STEP (weekend visits home are allowed). Undergraduate STEP Assistants also live in the halls to assist students in their transition to AU and to create a living and learning environment comparable to what students will encounter during the academic year.
- Room Occupancy and Accommodations: Double rooms are equipped with two standard twin sized beds, two desks with chairs, two bookcases, two Ethernet hookups, and built-in storage cabinets and closets. Triple rooms are equipped with three of the aforementioned items, but have 2 built-in units. Rooms are equipped with telephone connections for on-campus service, cable television, and internet access (both wired and wireless). Most residence halls have kitchens on each floor.
- Roommate Selection: Roommates are paired based on interests, hobbies, sleeping habits, and extracurricular activities, which students share on the STEP Registration Form. Because this is a prime opportunity to meet new people, we do not pair siblings or friends together. You will receive your roommate assignment by early June, along with your room assignment and other important check-in information.
- What should I bring? Students should bring personal items, such as an alarm clock, a desk lamp, hangers, an iron, linens, pillows, a radio, toiletries, towels, and shower shoes.
- Dining. Students will be provided with meals in the Terrace Dining Room (TDR) and EagleBucks for the seven weeks of the program. TDR is the main student dining facility on campus, and meal swipes can be used only there. EagleBucks is credit on the student's ID card, which can be used at various on-campus dining facilities, as well as at several off-campus dining vendors. Visit Housing and Dining Programs for more information on campus dining options.
- Transportation. The AU shuttle offers free, easy access to Metro (the Washington Metropolitan area subway system) and nearby grocery stores and restaurants. There is also a cab stand on-campus, near the south residence halls.
SCHEDULE & ACTIVITIES
- What is Eagle Summit? Eagle Summit is AU’s new student orientation designed to welcome new students and their families to AU. In addition to meeting with your advisor and finalizing your course schedule, you will become familiar with the campus, learn more about the programs offered, and build friendships with other incoming AU students.
- Schedule. The program consists of four parts:
- Summer Coursework. Students will complete two courses during the summer program. Many students take a mathematics course, depending on availability and placement scores. Students who do not place into Finite Math will take a non-credit tutorial to prepare them to succeed in Finite Math or higher in the fall. Students will work with their academic advisor to register for courses. Textbooks will be distributed after all students have registered for their summer coursework.
- College Writing Seminar. In addition to the math (or other) course, depending on your academic advising appointment, STEP students will also take a mandatory college writing seminar. This class is a crucial bridge between high school and college-level writing. It is a supplement to the two-course College Writing sequence that all incoming freshmen students at AU must take in order to meet the university writing requirements. Past STEP participants say that this seminar was "eye-opening;" it helped them to learn about writing expectations in college.
- Faculty Seminars and Academic Workshops. STEP students will also participate in 2-hour workshops and seminars. These sessions will connect students to resources at AU, build a stronger community among the STEP cohort, and help students to develop strategies for their academic, personal, and career development.
- Community Building and Service. STEP students participate in a community service project and a variety of activities, some of which they develop and implement themselves. Past cohorts have staged talent showcases, visited DC landmarks (such as the Newseum and Capitol Hill), hosted a community dinner, and more. There will be occasional weekend and evening programs. We hope that the students will take advantage of these opportunities as they help to build a strong and supportive community that lasts well beyond the seven-week program.
If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at 202-885-3651 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to welcoming you to campus and getting to know you this summer. Congratulations once again on your admission to American University!