Overview of STEPS
STEPS (Students Targeting Engineering and Physical Science) is an NSF-funded program designed to increase the number of California State University Northridge (CSUN) students getting bachelor's degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and computer science. This program uses the abbreviation "STEM" to include all majors in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) and the College of Science and Mathematics(CSM). It uses the abbreviation "PS&E" (physical science and engineering) to include all STEM majors except Biology.
Limited exposure to career information is a major reason for the low numbers of students choosing and persisting in a STEM bachelor's degree programs. Students may be insufficiently motivated to struggle with challenging majors because of a lack of career information and role models. STEPS proposes to create a website that will provide local and national information on careers, summer research opportunities, internships, scholarships and grants, campus events, and faculty and student achievements.
The project is funded by NSF Grant 0969627
Goal and Components of STEPS
The goal of STEPS is to increase retention of STEM majors and, thereby, increase the number of students who attain a bachelor's degree in STEM majors. The major components of the project are:
- Support for students in their lower division mathematics courses
- A 3-week a Summer Interdisciplinary Teams Experience (SITE)
- A website providing information on STEM careers and opportunities called STEPS
- STEM Career Seminars