Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP)

STEP logo

STEP was first launched by the NYS Department of Education in 1986.  Cornell University’s first STEP grant opened on July 1, 2015, and has received $214,313 for five years to provide opportunities for 109 student participants in grades 7-12 to succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately in their STEM higher education pursuits. STEP serves economically-disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students in the Ithaca City School District, specifically DeWitt Middle School, Boynton Middle School, Lehman Alternative Community School, and Ithaca High School. 


  • Provide academic program services and activities that include tutoring, academic and career counseling, college planning, academic enrichment, and planning for students to enter higher education and pursue careers in scientific, technical fields and the licensed professions.
  • Prior to graduation, provide services to enhance and increase STEP student involvement in research, internships, and college level coursework and/or service learning.
  • Provide services to enhance student skills in mathematics and the sciences in accordance with the Advanced Regents Diploma and Common Core curriculum.
  • Provide a parent component with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and activities.
  • Implement Day of Service planning, implementation, and assessment.
  • Develop and implement a STEP Advisory Committee with membership representation from various stakeholder groups, such as students, parents, local K‐12 administrators or teachers, and campus faculty or staff. The purpose of the STEP Advisory Committee is to meet occasionally to discuss upcoming programming or calendar of events and assist with the self‐review process.
  • Provide student professional development opportunities: workshops, poster presentations, publications in professional/research that promote access to careers in math, science, technology, health‐related fields, and the licensed professions.

    STEP's Mission

    To prepare and increase the number of minorities, historically underrepresented, or economically disadvantaged applicants, for entry into postsecondary degree programs in scientific, technical, health-related fields, and the licensed professions.