Office of Student Life

Prospective Students

Program Overview

The Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) represents a unique opportunity for second-year students to explore their academic, personal and professional goals under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor. Through engagement in small-group cohort meetings and other specialized programming, students will develop skills in financial literacy, career exploration and wellness. The program culminates in the pursuit of a STEP Signature Project in one of the following high-impact categories: Creative and Artistic Endeavor, Education Abroad, Internship, Leadership, Service-Learning or Undergraduate Research, for which eligible transformational experiences may receive up to $2,000 in STEP Funding. Afterwards, students present their projects at the STEP Expo, a showcase of experiential learning. Over the lifespan of the program, STEP has propelled students’ development as individuals, scholars and aspiring professionals. 


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. 

 Students in STEP have the opportunity to: 

  • Develop a meaningful relationship with a faculty mentor on campus. 

  • Meet weekly with other second-year students and their faculty mentor to build community within a cohort. 

  • Find ways to enhance their personal, academic and career goals. 

  • Receive a fellowship of up to $2,000 to engage in a STEP Signature Project.

Time Commitment

Students will spend 1-2 hours per week in STEP activities throughout the autumn semester. Weekly cohort meetings will provide opportunities for students to come to know their STEP Faculty Mentor and fellow students and to have deeper discussions about the progress of their college career and STEP experience. During spring semester, meetings will be more flexibly scheduled and may include one-on-one meetings with their STEP Faculty Mentor and small group or full cohort meetings.