Students at STEP check in

Prospective STEP Students

STEP program model

What is STEP?

The Special Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP) is a two-year program for incoming first generation, low income students. The goal of the program is to provide students with the guidance, skills, and resources to be successful at UC Davis.

Benefits of STEP

Students that participate in STEP will have the opportunity to meet other students through community building events and networking opportunities. STEP students receive advising from STEP Peer Advising Counselors (PACs) and academic assistance from UC Davis faculty and staff. Students also receive four quarters of priority registration after completing the summer component of STEP and meeting program requirements.

Summer STEP

The program begins with a summer residential portion in which students stay in the dorms for six weeks prior to the academic year. STEP students enroll in six units of Summer Session courses predetermined by STEP.

While adjusting to the rigor of UC Davis courses, students learn about campus life and navigating campus resources. Additionally, students build community with peers that will support them during the academic year. STEP students can expect to engage in events around social justice issues, financial readiness, and effective study skills.

Summer STEP General Expectations

If selected to STEP, students are expected to take full advantage of program offerings and the educational opportunity they represent. During the summer component, STEP students must attend: 

  • Classes
  • Office hours
  • Tutoring
  • STEP extracurricular activities
  • Any appointments with staff from the STEP team

STEP students must also follow the UC Davis Principles of Community and commit to following the academic year expectations.

Freshman Foundations (Year 1)

During their first year, all STEP students will continue building on the academic and social skills they acquired during summer STEP while integrating into the campus community. This is done through:

  • Participation in a First-Year Aggie Connection
  • Meeting with their Peer Advising Counselor (PAC) at least once per quarter
  • Attending STEP/EOP sponsored events

Sophomore Success (Year 2)

During the second year, students refine the academic and social skills implemented during their first year while fostering personal growth and professional preparation. This is done through:

  • Referrals to various campus programs and services
  • Meeting with EOP staff for retention advising
  • Attending STEP/EOP sponsored events