RU-STEPed Up for Success
"R U STEPped Up for Success" is a cohesive set of programmatic interventions that recruits STEM majors from underrepresented groups (women and minorities) and improves retention of first-year and transfer STEM students through summer bridge experiences, academic support, mentoring, and orientation programs. The program has two cornerstone recruitment strategies: a recruitment program targeted at high school girls interested in engineering careers and a Saturday Science program for high school juniors and seniors in local school districts characterized by large minority populations, historic poverty, and low college attendance. The retention activities are directed at both entering and transfer students whose skill levels in mathematics and writing do not reach college level including: a summer bridge program in writing, mathematics and chemistry for incoming first-year students; academic year mentoring programs utilizing trained peer mentors and teaching assistants to continue support as students enter college level courses; and creation of four learning communities: pre-calculus, general chemistry , women, and transfer students including non-residential students. This program provides a model for a cohesive academic and social support system by which academically disadvantaged young people will feel comfortable with, and be prepared for, academic and intellectual exploration in the STEM fields.