Student Transition and Engagement Program (STEP)
The Student Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) is a first and second year mentoring and coaching program that serves up to 75 incoming first-year students at Salem State University. Through STEP, students are paired with an academic coach and a peer mentor. The academic coach meets with students every other week to review college success topics. The peer mentor connects with students consistently throughout the semester both individually and as a group for educational and social purposes. Students participating in STEP will successfully transition into college, thrive both personally and academically, and make progress towards their academic and career goals.
Some of the topics and themes discussed during the individualized coaching sessions include:
- Know your Goals, Know Yourself
- College ≠ High School
- Time Management 101 and 201
- Spring and Fall Registration, Priority #1!
- Study Habits, Peaks and Pits
- Wellness = College Success
- Campus Engagement Inventory
- Campus Opportunities
- Sophomore Year Transition
Students will be assigned to an upper-class student who has previously participated in STEP. These peer mentors provide both social and academic support by hosting study sessions, group dinners, campus outings or trips to local attractions. In addition to group meetings, the mentors will meet with each of their students one-on-one to touch base throughout the semester. These people are on the front lines and know how to help first-year students make the most out of their college experience.
Event and activities (to name a few...)
- Welcome Banquet: Meet the STEP staff, hear more about the mission and vision of the program and kick off the new academic year
- Tie-Dye and Chill: A chance to meet and mix with other STEP students
- STEP Olympics: Friendly completion among mentor groups to relieve stress during finals and win big prizes!
- STEP Summits: These half-day educational workshops offered twice a year that are packed with tons of resources for the college transition.
- Community service events: toy drive, food collection, food distribution, beach clean-ups, etc.
- And much more!
You must be a first-time freshmen student at Salem State.
You must also qualify for a Pell Grant. If you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for a Pell Grant, check your FAFSA results or contact the financial aid office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 978.542.8000.
We accept the first 75 students who qualify so apply today!
If you have any questions, please contact:
“In all honesty, I was terrified to come into college. Excited by the freedom, but frightened at the idea of responsibility. I joined STEP because I wanted to get through my first year okay but I got so much more than that. I got a family of individuals who believe in me, comforted me, enlightened me, encouraged me and most importantly guided me. STEP is truly just one of those experiences you never want to miss out on.”
-Jane Njeri, sophomore, Business Administration
“STEP is an amazing program that I would highly recommend to any incoming freshmen. My freshman year had a rough start but I felt so much better about it because I had my Peer Mentor, Academic Coach, and numerous other people in the program who were always there to listen to my problems and help me find the right resources on campus to resolve them. I got constant support that was catered to me and it made me feel so much more welcomed on campus. Without STEP, I probably still wouldn't be at Salem State.”
-Sydney Adie, sophomore, Communications
“I am a Latino first generation student (first one in their family to go to college). I am proud of my identity, but unfortunately being who I am entails certain challenges that put me in a disadvantage in life, society and education. I was lucky I received the support I needed in my high school years, but when I apply to college I was afraid I would not receive any of this. However, since day one, the STEP program was there for me. The program provided me with all the support I needed, and most important, it taught me to overcome many of the challenges that I have faced during my entire life. There were moments when I thought of giving up and throwing in the towel, but I did not do it, thanks to STEP. Now I am here, after four years, one year away from graduation and ready to succeed in the future ahead of me.”
-Javier Rodriguez-Diaz, senior, psychology and WLC-Italian concentration
“Through STEP I had the opportunity to attend and present at the First Generation College Student Summit in Amherst with two other STEP peer mentors and it was an eye-opening experience. I learned a lot from many of the other first generation students there who didn't have the same support that other college students may have. It was great to see how other first generation students from various schools successfully integrated academically and socially.”
-Alexandria Kluge '15, environmental biology with chemistry minor