Office of Student Life : Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

FAQs

STEP Selection Process:

Is there an application?

Current first-year students will automatically be signed up for STEP when they participate in housing re-selection for the 2017/2018 academic year.  Students will have the option to opt-out of STEP if they are not interested in participating in the program.  Current first-year students who choose to live in an approved sorority or fraternity chapter facility will also be automatically signed up for STEP when they participate in housing re-selection for the 2017/2018 academic year.  Current first-year students who choose to live with a parent or close relative pursuant to the University Housing Regulation will be contacted by STEP once they submit the Parent Close Relative Exemption form to University Housing.

Are there minimum requirements for second-year students to participate in STEP?

The only requirements for expressing interest in STEP are committing to live in the residence halls, an approved Greek living facility, or with a parent or close relative for their entire second year (fall and spring semesters).  For more information on the residence halls, please go to the following link: http://housing.osu.edu/.

What Greek living facilities are eligible to participate in STEP?

Second-year students who live in one of the Greek living facilities that meet the qualifications of the Greek Housing Standard and the Greek Housing Implementation Report and are approved by Ohio State are eligible to participate in STEP.  The facilities that have been approved for the 2017/2018 academic year are listed below:

  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Alpha Epsilon Phi
  • Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Alpha Gamma Rho
  • Alpha Gamma Sigma
  • Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Alpha Phi
  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Alpha Xi Delta
  • Chi Omega
  • Delta Delta Delta
  • Delta Gamma
  • Delta Tau Delta
  • Delta Theta Sigma
  • Delta Zeta
  • Evans Scholars
  • FarmHouse
  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Kappa Delta
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)
  • Phi Kappa Psi
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Pi Beta Phi
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Alpha Mu
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Zeta Tau Alpha

What if I have applied to be a Resident Advisor (RA)?

RAs are eligible to participate in STEP.  STEP will contact all RA applicants via e-mail to explain the process for expressing interest in the program.

What if I live in a scholarship or academic residential living unit not a part of the residence hall system, but which has been recognized by University Housing?

Please contact University Housing at housing@osu.edu or (614) 292-8266 for more information.

Can campus change students participate in STEP?

Campus change students who are entering their second year of college and are within a year of their high school graduation are eligible to participate in STEP.

What qualifies someone as a second year student?

A second year student is considered to be entering their second year of college and is within a year of their high school graduation.

When can I sign up for the program?

Current first-year students will automatically be signed up for STEP when they complete the housing re-selection process for the 2017/2018 academic-year.  Students will have the option to opt-out of STEP if they are not interested in participating in the program.  The housing re-selection period will begin in late February.

If I participate in STEP, are there any halls that I cannot live in?

There are no restrictions to where you can live in University Housing with this program except for standard University Housing regulations (i.e. freshman-only buildings).

If I participate in STEP, can I live with my roommate of choice?

You may live with the roommate of choice as long as you both indicate one another as a preferred roommate.  Both/all roommates in a room are not required to participate in STEP.

What if I will not be on campus during the spring semester of my second year?

During the spring semester, students will work closely with both their STEP faculty mentor and cohort to develop a STEP Signature Project proposal.  By designating spring semester for the proposal writing process, students will have adequate time to cultivate a meaningful project while also allowing time for personal and professional growth and continued opportunities to build connections with their STEP faculty mentor and cohort members.  Therefore, one of the STEP participant requirements is that students must live on-campus, in approved Greek living facility, or at home with a parent or close relative for both autumn and spring semesters of their second year.  Students who do not meet this program requirement are not eligible to receive STEP funding.

Program Overview:

What is STEP?

Ohio State’s Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) was developed as a continuation of the university’s effort to redefine the student experience.  STEP is designed to focus on student success and development and allows students the opportunity to engage in activities that cater to their individual interests and needs.  A central feature of STEP is giving participants the opportunity to engage with faculty outside of the classroom in one-on-one meetings as well as in group settings.  During their time together, STEP faculty mentors help students explore unique, educational, and enriching experiences.  Students are also exposed to developmental opportunities that assist in their professional and personal growth, including financial wellness programming. Click here for a schedule of information sessions.

What are the benefits of this program?

This program is part of the university’s ongoing commitment to redefine the student experience and has been developed to enhance student success, improve student engagement and satisfaction and contribute to post-graduation success.

What will students do all year?

Throughout fall semester, STEP participants meet with their STEP faculty mentor in their “cohort” of approximately twenty students to set personal goals and explore the six STEP categories (Education Abroad, Internships, Undergraduate Research, Service-Learning and Community Service, Leadership, and Artistic and Creative Endeavors).  Furthermore, students have the opportunity to engage in developmental opportunities throughout the year in the areas of career preparation, community engagement/global citizenship, information literacy/academic success, wellness, leadership development, and discovery themes.  During spring semester, students will work independently and one-on-one with faculty mentors to create a STEP Signature Project for using the fellowship.

What if I do not plan to do a STEP Signature Project?

A student has the option to not do a STEP Signature Project and work with their STEP faculty mentor on a Professional Development Plan instead.  The STEP Professional Development Plan is a critical component of STEP that can be utilized instead of, or in addition to, the STEP Signature Project Proposal.   

Can you estimate the total amount of time participating in this program will take?

In total, students will probably spend about one to two hours per week in STEP activities.  During autumn semester, the meeting schedule is determined by the STEP faculty mentor.  These meetings can be quite informal and will be opportunities to come to know your STEP faculty mentor and your fellow students well and to have deeper discussions about the progress of your college career and your STEP experience.  During spring semester, your meetings will be more flexibly scheduled and may be one-on-one with your STEP faculty mentor, in small groups, or in full cohort.

What are the requirements?

STEP participants are required to meet with their STEP faculty mentor and attend specified meetings and sessions both autumn and spring semesters.  In addition, students are required to attend at least one of the STEP Expos in fall or spring semester, complete a two-part financial literacy program and three additional professional developmental co-curricular programs (PDCs) within the following categories: career preparation, community engagement/global citizenship, information literacy/academic success, wellness, leadership development, and discovery themes.  Students must also successfully complete a STEP Signature Project that details their use of the fellowship for one of the six STEP categories, which is then subject for review and STEP faculty approval.

STEP Faculty Mentors:

Who are the faculty mentors?

The STEP faculty mentors are part of a specially recruited and selected group who have shown significant commitment to student development and success.  For a complete list of the 2016/2017 STEP faculty, please visit our STEP Faculty 2016-2017 page.

Can students choose their faculty mentor?

Students and faculty will be matched based on location and schedule availability.

Will the faculty mentor be someone affiliated with a student’s major?

Not necessarily.  STEP is designed to help students become more comfortable with faculty interaction, in general, and to create networks across disciplines and areas of expertise.

The Six STEP Categories & Fellowship Funding:

When will students decide on a STEP category and who can help them make a decision?

Students explore the six STEP categories with their STEP faculty mentor throughout fall semester and will work on their proposals in spring.  STEP faculty mentors will support students throughout this process.

After a student makes a decision, is there any possibility of changing the chosen activity?

Once their proposal has been submitted, students should work directly with Vicki Pitstick in the STEP Office if they want to make a change.  Students can reach Vicki at pitstick.10@osu.edu or (614) 292-5732.

When am I eligible to use my STEP funds?

The funds are available to you to support the completion of your project during the year after your STEP participation, beginning on the day after the end of spring semester and continuing until classes begin fifteen months later (approximately August 15).  You are not eligible to receive STEP funds if you graduate immediately after completing your STEP participation.  If you graduate during the year following your STEP participation, your project must be completed, the funds must be expended, and you must have reported back to the OSU community before you graduate.  Otherwise, the money provided to you will be billed to you and must be paid back before you receive your diploma.

How much funding will I receive for completing this program?

Students who fully complete the program requirements will receive a fellowship of up to $2,000 to use toward their chosen STEP Signature Project, pending STEP faculty approval and STEP administrative review.

Are there rules with how I can spend the money?

Students should apply the fellowship toward the costs of their proposed STEP Signature Project and follow the STEP funding guidelines.

Will the fellowship affect my financial aid package?

The STEP fellowship will be counted as part of your financial aid package during the academic year you use the funding.  In most cases, the fellowship should not affect a student’s financial aid package.  Exceptions would be for students who are currently receiving scholarships and grants up to the full Cost of Attendance each year.  Students with questions about how STEP funding might impact their financial aid should contact Buckeye Link at buckeyelink@osu.edu.