(August 22, 2014)
The purpose of the STEP AWARDS is to Celebrate the achievement of the incoming freshmen who has dedicated seven weeks of their summer to prepare for the rigors of a technical degree program. We have invited parents, faculty and staff to celebrate the achievement of our incoming College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology (ECST) freshmen. ECST's Four Student Expectation: Focus on Excellence, Embrace Challenges, Engage in Community, Take Responsibility.
SUMMER TRANSITION TO ECST PROGRAM (STEP) - Cal State L.A., College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology
The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology (ECST) at Cal State L.A. made finding a solution to increase student retention one of its greatest priorities when it found a growing percentage of high school graduates striving to obtain an engineering degree were not prepared for college level coursework. Committed to graduating well-educated professionals who are prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world, the College of ECST took a proactive approach to finding a solution. The College of ECST piloted an intervention strategy in summer 2008 called the Summer Transition to ECST Program (STEP) under the direction of the College of ECST Student Success Center (ECST SSC). The program would not only prove successful in developing and strengthening the skills of students in mathematics, but would also contribute to increasing the retention rates of first-year students and decrease their time-to-degree completion by academically preparing students in the summer prior to their first quarter at Cal State L.A.
The seven-week program is operated in two parts. During the first 3 1/2 weeks, students are provided with an intensive math review in the math level determined by their score on their Entry Level Math test, and at the end of the first half of the program, they are administered an exit exam through the University Testing Center. Those who successfully pass the first exit exam proceed to the next level math for an additional 3 ½ weeks. Each cohort is taught by an individual instructor and facilitated by a minimum of 4 - 8 peer facilitators depending on the cohort size. This year, STEP also incorporated a chemistry preparation component for about 30 students, as well as a calculus prep component.
In addition to providing an intense math bootcamp environment, STEP also creates strong community in our incoming class. By the time school starts in the Fall, our freshmen already know each other, know their way around campus, and feel like they belong to ECST and Cal State LA. They have accepted and embodied the four expectations of STEP: Focus on Excellence, Embrace Challenges, Engage in Community, Take Responsibility.
STEP is managed by Frances Hidalgo, Director of the ECST Student Success Center, along with her team. Thank you to the ECST staff: T Fox, Candi Marsh, Evelyn Crosby, the instructors: Sharri Kornblum, Ashkan Motamendi, Adel Sharif, ECST Dean Emily Allen and all the student participants.