Office of Student Life : Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

STEP Wins Major Awards

February 8, 2017

Ohio State’s STEP (Second-year Transformational Experience Program) recently won two prestigious international awards. The program was selected for the ACPA Collaborative Excellence Award and as a Silver Excellence Award Winner from NASPA. The groups are the leading higher education and student affairs professional associations in the world.

A partnership between the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Life and supported by many other units across campus, STEP is an extension of Ohio State’s commitment to the student experience and provides an opportunity for education beyond the classroom. STEP is focused on assisting students in finding ways to have transformational experiences during their second-year in college.

Ohio State Senior Vice President for Student Life Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston calls STEP, “a groundbreaking collaborative that focuses on the education of students beyond the classroom and includes intensive engagements with faculty as well as a living experience that integrates academic achievement, self-awareness and the development of life and leadership skills.”

“Through the STEP program, we have leveraged this strong partnership between the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Life creating an innovative infrastructure that links a number of university units, departments, faculty, staff and students, to provide a ‘transformational’ experience for our second year students,” said Dr. Wayne Carlson, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Undergraduate Education at Ohio State. “I recognize the importance of supporting our students in a holistic way.  By addressing their academic, co-curricular, social, emotional, physical and financial well being, our institution ensures that our students can have the best undergraduate experience possible.”

Both NASPA and ACPA commented on the number of outstanding entries received in making the awards. The NASPA award (in the Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Orientation, Parents, Persistence, First-year, Other-year and related category) recognizes the outstanding contributions of members who are transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services and effective administration. The ACPA Collaborative Excellence Award recognizes a program, institution or department which demonstrates an exemplary partnership or an innovative, collaborative initiative among academic and student affairs professionals.

After three years as a pilot program, STEP was fully implemented this academic year. From 1,000 students and 53 faculty members in 2013-2014, it now includes participation by approximately 2,600 students and 135 faculty.