Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP)

STEP (Summer Transition Enrichment Program) is an invite-only program at American University that provides incoming first-year students with the tools and resources they need for a head start as an Eagle. The primary goal of STEP is to help students succeed in the classroom. This intensive eight-week residential program is built to support the transition to college. It provides students with an academic and social edge, while familiarizing them with Washington D.C. and AU' s campus resources. The program's primary focus is academic success; however, we also encourage students to form lasting friendships through regular social and extracurricular activities.

Register for STEP here

STEP 2019 Registration Form

The registration form must be completed by Monday, May 13th, 2019.

Goals of STEP

At CDI, our goal is to support students in the STEP program and unify the various resources — both programs and people — available to help students succeed once they are on campus. The key is making sure those resources are connected with each other to support students holistically. When we see students struggling academically, challenged with finding an internship or summer opportunity, or looking for ways to engage on campus, we are able to connect the dots and address students' needs.

STEP Impact

For over 20 years, STEP has built a sterling record of student success. STEP has taken many forms over the years, but has a consistent record of attracting students who earn national merit awards, including the BOREN Scholarship, White House Internships, Hispanic Congressional Caucus Fellowship, Rangel Summer Internships, and many other AU awards and honors.

STEP participants also complete their education at very high rates. The program lasts for eight weeks during the summer; however, our commitment to STEP students lasts for their entire career at American University.

Next Steps for Students


Opening Dinner: Sunday, June 23, 2019

Start Date: Monday, June 24, 2019

First Day of Classes: Monday, July 1, 2019

Fourth of July (campus closed): Thursday, July 4, 2019

End of Classes: Thursday, August 8, 2019

End of STEP: Friday, August 9, 2019

Move to Fall Housing: Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 11 is the mandatory date to move into fall housing. You will not be able to move into your fall residence hall earlier or later. 

Visit our FAQ Page here to learn more about the STEP Program, including cost, housing, programs, and other frequently asked questions!

Contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at 202-885-3651 or if there are additional questions.

STEP 2018 & Explore DC


STEP 2018 at LAYC

Our STEP 2018 cohort had the opportunity to participate in Explore DC, sponsored by AU's Center for Community Engagement and Service. Explore DC gives students a chance to acclimate to DC, explore the burning issues faced by community members, and expose themselves to some of the cultural and historical resources that exist. Our STEP students volunteered at A Wider Circle, Martha's Table, and the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). This video is a quick recap of what STEP did at LAYC.

Summer Transition Enrichment Program 2017 students

 STEP students of 2017

Meet Shannon Smith CDI Assistant Director of Student Success and Transition

Shannon Smith

Shannon is responsible for strategic direction for STEP, as well as formulating and implementing various transition initiatives for American University students.

Have questions about STEP? Stop by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion in Mary Graydon Center Room 201/202 to meet our staff and get to know Shannon!

Contact Shannon