The STEPS initiative began in fall 2012 as a collaboration between Academic Affairs, Academic Support Services, and Residential Life as an effort to increase the persistence and retention of residential students. The student profile of those students who are primarily focused on and monitored is as follows:
- First-year residential students enrolled in at least one Learning Support course at SGSC or who had a high school GPA of ≤ 2.5.
The STEPS strategy involves numerous activities: student success workshops, Academic Success Center tutoring, STEM center tutoring, academic coaching provided by faculty and staff members, course grade monitoring throughout the semester, and individual academic, personal, and disability counseling.
A section of SGSC 1000, the first-year-experience course, was formed for first-year residential students meeting the STEPS student criteria and offered in fall 2014. This course was led by a team of instructors from the Division of Student Success, including the Vice President for Student Success, Director of Campus Life, and the Director of Academic Support. In addition, the team of instructors served as academic coaches for the course enrollees. Another cohort of STEPS-eligible students from fall 2013 was selected as a comparator group, since they had participated in non-STEPS sections of the SGSC 1000 first-year experience course, in order to generate data on the apparent effects of the STEPS intervention. Comparative data appear in the table below and indicate that STEPS interventions are very positive