The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) was established in 1985 by the NYS Legislature to prepare historically underrepresented students in the sciences or economically disadvantaged students in grades 7-12 for entry into postsecondary degree programs in scientific, technical, health-related, and licensed professions. Since 1994, Union College has been awarded the STEP grant by the NYS Dept. of Education to establish collaborative relationships with public schools in the City of Schenectady. By participating in Union College's STEP program, public school students partner with Union College faculty and students to receive high-quality instruction in math, science and technology. Instruction can include academic tutoring, college-level courses for enrichment, and opportunities to work with college students and faculty on research projects. Union College hosts twelve (12) Saturday sessions comprised of academic workshops and local field trips during the academic year, and a three-week intensive research-based program in the summer. All program resources and activities are offered at no cost to the participants.
Academic Year STEP
Science and technology workshops and field trips, presented by Union College faculty and local colleges and institutions, are offered to students during the academic year. Sessions are held on four (4) Saturdays each trimester. Workshop and field trip lengths vary. Contact STEP staff for further detail. During the week, students can receive tutoring after school hours on any subject they need to improve.
Summer STEP offers students an intensive three-week learning opportunity through classroom instruction, educational field trips and mentorship by Union College students. Classroom instruction is provided by Union College faculty and local professionals, and focuses on themes in math, science and technology. Field trips to museums, exhibits, colleges, and learning centers are planned in conjunction with professors' syllabus and course requirements. Students are placed into small teams and required to design and conduct a research project. At the conclusion of the program, parents are invited to attend a final research presentation, where students present their research. Students with the highest quality of research will be nominated by staff, faculty, and program consultants to present their research at the STEP Statewide Conference and Research Competition held in Albany, New York, every spring. Union College STEP maintains a high standard of performance for its participants. All participants are expected to strive for excellence and be respectful to others during their involvement with STEP.
- Must be a New York State resident
- Must be in 7th – 12th grade (for Summer STEP, you must be entering 7th – 12th grade the following fall)
- Member of a historically underrepresented group (as defined by the New York State Department of Education): African-American, Latino/Hispanic or Native American/Alaskan Native. Or, if you are not a member of one of these ethnic groups, you can qualify based on economic need (see attached Income Eligibility Criteria chart).
- Show a demonstrated interest in math and/or science, indicated in the application essay
- Have an average grade of C+ (77) or greater in math and science courses, as indicated on a current report card. Students must be passing all of their subjects. • Submit the completed application attached including most recent report card.
- Applicants will be notified of our decision by mail or email.