Le Moyne’s Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) were designed to prepare historically underrepresented groups for success within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as well as in the licensed professions. They are centered on a holistic approach to success that addresses a student’s academic, professional and personal development. Individuals enrolled in the program receive tutoring, attend networking and mentoring sessions, and participate in community service.
“Our aim is to provide our students with opportunities for academic, personal and professional enrichment so that they can succeed in areas where they are urgently needed,” said Darshini Roopnarine, Ph.D., director of STEP and CSTEP. “To that end, we focus on three things – creating access and equity, preparing our students to be well-rounded citizens in the spirit of cura personalis, and enabling them to get to know one another.”
During the months of September, October and November, an average of 604 local high school students participated in STEP. The program’s leaders also partnered with their colleagues in Le Moyne’s Upward Bound Program. That allowed several STEP students to participate in the Saturday Academy, which provides students with hands-on experiential activities focused on increasing students exposure to the STEM fields. It has included a visit to the Nano Center and a demonstration by staff at the Museum of Science and Technology, as well as lessons in coding, forensics and other topics in the lab. In addition, STEP also began collaborating with On Point for College, an organization that aids low-income students in applying to college, and started working with the Le Moyne Maker Lab to facilitate hands-on STEM initiatives, including robotics.
Meanwhile, an average of 72 Le Moyne students participated in CSTEP during September, October and November. They took part in 12 weekly seminars on topics that included a wellness, summer research preparation, and personal statements and résumés. Of the 15 Le Moyne seniors enrolled in STEP, five have interviews scheduled with physician assistant and dental schools, four have applied to graduate school and are awaiting a response, and one was offered a full-time position at M & T Bank.
“I think that the enthusiasm our students have for the programs speaks for itself,” Roopnarine said. “When we don’t have something scheduled they ask, ‘What’s next?’ We see how excited they are about science, technology, engineering and math, and we are committed to their success.”