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.
- What are the program dates for STEP 2014? STEP 2014 begins on Sunday, June 22 at 3:00pm and runs through Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:00pm. Visit the Important Dates, Schedule, & Activities section to learn more about what will take place during that time.
- 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 email@example.com or complete it online.
- 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 New Student Programs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have about that process.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
- When do I need to be on campus for STEP? Students need to transition into their residence hall room by 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 22, 2014. More information regarding check-in and room assignments will be sent to STEP students via their American University e-mail address and postal mail in early June once we receive all of the required registration information.
- Can I change my arrival or departure date to STEP? All requests must be submitted to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (ATTN: Isaac Agbeshie-Noye, Assistant Director) via e-mail (email@example.com) or phone (202-885-3651) by May 15, 2014. These requests include the following:
- Early Arrival (getting to campus prior to Saturday, June 21)
- Late Arrival (getting to campus after Sunday, June 23 at 3:00pm)
- Early Departure (leaving campus prior to Friday, August 8 at 2:00pm)
- Can I stay on campus after the program is over? The Center for Diversity & Inclusion will make accommodations with Housing and Dining Programs so that students can transition into their fall assignments (if it is available) upon completion of the program. Students may stay on campus free of charge, but meals will not be provided for that time.
- When do fall classes start and will I have time to go home? STEP ends on Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:00pm. This year, Welcome Week (which contains programming for new AU students) begin on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The first day of classes is Monday, August 25, 2014.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
IMPORTANT DATES, SCHEDULE, & ACTIVITIES
- Important Dates.
- STEP begins on Sunday, June 22. Students are encouraged to move into their housing assignment by 3:00 pm. The first event, the Opening Session, begins at 5:00pm on that day. During this welcome, parents and students will learn more about the summer program and resources available to ensure your successful transition to AU. Dinner will be provided and the dress is casual.
- Eagle Summit Session III is on Monday, June 23 and Tuesday, June 24. All STEP participants will attend this session. As STEP participants, you will participate in Eagle Summit free of charge (the $180 orientation fee will be waived). Your parents and guests will still need to pay a fee if they plan to attend. If you have any questions, please contact the Dean of Students office at 202-885-3303 or email@example.com.
- STEP ends on Friday, August 8, at 2:00PM. Our last event, the Closing Session and Award Luncheon, will take place at 12:00PM. This event is for students only. For those traveling after STEP, please make travel arrangements for Friday evening or Saturday.
- Students will transition into their fall housing assignments within the last week of the program.
- 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. Click here to view a past schedule for the seven-week program. 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!