Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)

The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) was established in 1985 by the NYS Legislature to prepare historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students for entry into post-secondary degree programs in math, science, technology, health-related fields, and licensed professions. Since 1994, Union College has been awarded the STEP grant by the NYS Department of Education (NYSED) to establish collaborative relationships with local schools. By participating in Union College STEP, local students partner with Union College faculty and students to receive high-quality STEM instruction.

All STEP services and resources are offered at no cost to participants. For more information please email STEP@union.edu.

Prospective Students

  • Eligibility Requirements

    To enroll in STEP, students must:

    • Be a New York State resident
    • Be enrolled in Grades 7-12
    • Be a member of a historically underrepresented group (as defined by NYSED): African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic or Native American/Alaskan Native OR if you are not a member of one of these groups, you may qualify based on economic need: please see the NSYED Income Eligibility Criteria
    • Show a demonstrated interest in math and/or science (as indicated in the application essay)
    • Have an average grade of C+ (77) or greater in math and science courses, and be passing all subjects (as indicated on a current report card)
  • Apply to Summer STEP

    The Summer STEP 2021 Application will be posted in Spring.

    Summer STEP offers students an intensive three-week learning opportunity through classroom instruction, educational field trips and mentoring by Union College students. Students attend workshops presented by Union College faculty and local professionals on a variety of STEM topics.

    Students also work in small teams, with the guidance of a STEP Mentor, to design and conduct a research project. At the conclusion of the program, parents are invited to attend a final research presentation. Students may be selected to present their research at the STEP Statewide Conference held in Albany, New York each spring.

  • Apply to Academic Year STEP

    Apply Online for Academic Year STEP 20-21

    Download Application for Academic Year STEP 20-21

    Applications for Academic Year STEP are accepted on a rolling basis. Students admitted into Summer STEP 2020 are automatically enrolled in the Academic Year Program and do not need to re-apply.

    Union College faculty and local professionals offer a variety of STEM workshops and field trips to students during the academic year. Typically, three to five events are scheduled each college trimester. During the week, students can receive individual tutoring sessions or attend weekly SAT and ACT prep classes.

    PLEASE NOTE: All STEP services are currently being offered remotely due to COVID-19.

Current Students

  • Upcoming Events

    Winter 2021 STEP: January 11 - March 18

    Monday, January 18, 2:30 - 3:30 PM
    MLK Day Youth Event with Jermaine Wells

    Are we his dream? MLK’s shifting ideology and exploration of the final months of his life and the possible reasons he was assassinated. This event is open to all middle and high school students. We will send out an invitation that you may share with friends who are not in STEP.

    Saturday, February 6, 11 AM – 12:30 PM
    Veterinary Medicine with Samantha Weglinski, DVM

    Dr. Sam will present her educational and career path as well as other possible routes and educational experiences to becoming a veterinarian. She will discuss the day to day life of a Vet, the joys and struggles of her career, and other considerations for those interested in the field.

    Tuesday, February 9, time TBD
    Virtual C/STEP Advocacy Day

    Every year, STEP and CSTEP students are invited to speak with NYS legislators at the Capitol to encourage them to continue funding for the programs in New York. Although the visit will be virtual this year, students will still have the opportunity to tell their stories about why STEP is important to them. More details coming soon!

    Fridays, February 15 – March 5, 5 - 6 PM
    Internet Safety with Belissa Baez ‘21

    STEP High School Students are invited to attend this three-week program presented by a Union College Computer Science major. Please sign up to help Belissa complete her senior research project and learn important information. More information will be sent to high school students soon.

    Saturday, February 20, 12 - 4 PM
    Black Families Technology Awareness Day – A virtual event hosted by RPI

    This annual event is open to all STEP students, parents and siblings. There will be STEM workshops and other activities for K-12 students. Register now on their website, linked here!

    Saturday, TBD in February, 11 AM – 12:30 PM
    Cryptography in Computer Science with RPI Coding & Community students

    This workshop will show students how secret codes from history gave rise to the modern field of cryptography. We will explore how basic ciphers are used to encode messages and the mathematics of determining how effective these ciphers are. Students will encrypt their own messages and discuss why encryption is important. We will also explore more modern cryptographic techniques such as hashing and handshakes that are used to keep computer systems secure.

    Saturday, March 6, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    Nutrition with Dorian Longton, MS, RD, CDN

    This workshop will be an overview of academic requirements and examinations to become a registered dietitian, discussion of Dori’s career progression and current position, and a look at different types of jobs in the field of nutrition and dietetics.


    Spring 2021 STEP: March 29 - June 4

    *All workshops are currently being offered remotely via Zoom due to COVID-19.

    **After each SATURDAY workshop, stay on Zoom to play a game with STEP Mentors and staff – winners will receive a prize of their choice!

    STEP students in grades 7-12 can register for an event by emailing STEP@union.edu.

  • Request a Tutor

    Winter 2021 Tutoring: January 11 - March 18
    Spring 2021 Tutoring: March 29 - June 4

    *Tutoring is currently being offered remotely via Zoom due to COVID-19.

    Get one to one support in any subject(s) you need. We will do our best to match you with a good-fit tutor to help you with homework completion, test preparation and study skills development.

    Please note that tutors are not guaranteed. Tutors are assigned based on the availability of college student mentors and volunteers.

    STEP students in grades 7-12 can request a tutor here: Tutoring Request Form

  • SAT and ACT Classes

    Winter 2021 SAT Classes: Tuesdays 7 - 8 PM, January 11 - March 18
    Winter 2021 ACT Classes: Thursdays 7 - 8 PM, January 11 - March 18

    *Classes are currently being offered remotely via Zoom due to COVID-19.

    Review and prepare for the SAT and ACT exams in a small-group setting with a college student mentor.

    STEP sophomores and juniors can register here: SAT/ACT Class Sign-up Form