Association for Program Administrators of CSTEP and STEP, Inc.

Association for Program Administrators of CSTEP and STEP, Inc.

Best Practices Conference

Below you will find a list of workshops that will be offered at the conference.

Workshop Registration is Now Open!

You must use your username and password to register for any workshop for this conference. If you haven't registered already, please do so at this time.

Click here to see the conference agenda/workshop schedule.


Click here to see a printable Workshop Abstract Booklet.
[.pdf file]

Best Practices Workshop Abstracts

Workshop Session I:

Use of Freeware to Collect Online, Indirect CSTEP Program Assessment Data
Carol Budd – St. Lawrence University
This workshop will demonstrate the use of survey construction freeware software to collect end of year indirect CSTEP program evaluation information. The software allows the user to design an online survey by constructing multi-format question types including one answer, multiple answers, matrices with one answer or multiple answers per row, and open-ended questions, all with horizontal or vertical format. By creating a link for an e-mail message, the software collects one response per respondent and collates responses into a table easily exported to an Excel file.

STEP Summer Research Programs
Dr. Duncan Quarless, SUNY Old Westbury
There has been a great deal of expressed interest, both formal and informal, concerning the steps taken to promote and establish science research particularly in STEP programs. Inquiry is at the core of any research and therefore must be a key element in the establishment of a research program.

While CSTEP programs are generally poised for synergistic relationships with other existing research programs to serve their students both intra and extramurally, STEP programs face unique challenges in supporting and implementing summer research programs for students. Since the advent of NCLB, school districts, particularly in high needs locales, have placed substantial emphasis on standardized testing and perhaps teaching strategies to improve student outcomes on these tests. The inquiry-based learning that is central to investigative research is not inconsistent with preparing students for standardized testing. The strategies to develop a STEP research program may vary depending on circumstances at each institution, but are an important enrichment to help STEP students develop the skills for success on standardized tests and for college preparation. The continued success of STEP programs may largely depend on the level to which inquiry is promoted.

College Students Helping High School Students: A Profile of the Let’s Get Ready SAT & the High School Fellows (STEP) Program at the NYU School of Medicine
Eric Neutuch - Let’s Get Ready…for College & Carlos Restrepo - NYU School of Medicine
College students are uniquely positioned to show high school students how to get to college. This presentation showcases the NYU School of Medicine’s High School Fellows Program’s (NYUSOM – HSFP) collaboration with Let’s Get Ready. Let’s Get Ready (LGR) is the nation’s largest inter-collegiate network of student-run college access programs. LGR mobilizes and equips college students to provide SAT preparation instruction and college admissions advising to low-income high school students in more than thirty locations across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. In the Spring of 2007, LGR and the NYUSOM – HSFP partnered to administer a 3-month SAT & College Prep Course. The results were impressive - an average 148 point SAT score increase. You will come away inspired by the power of college student role-models and knowledgeable about how to build successful partnerships with non-profit organizations and successful mentoring relationships between college students and high school students!

Helping Our Students Help Themselves:
A Counseling Approach to Working with Our Academically At-Risk Students

Edwardo J. Rodriguez – Fordham University
This workshop will present a model of academic counseling that assists students who are struggling with their CSTEP related majors. The model is founded on the following assumptions:

  • Academic counseling is a learning process that occurs for both the counselor and student
  • All students have the intrinsic potential to successfully complete college
  • Academic performance is a type of behavior that is influenced by psychosocial factors
  • Counselor’s interactions with students provide a behavioral model for the student
  • Changes in behavior take time

Based on these assumptions the counselor in collaboration with the student identifies the psychosocial factors that contribute to their unsatisfactory academic performance and develop an academic plan that outlines concrete goals that progressively move the student towards resolving and/or adaptively managing the negative influences of those psychosocial factors as they relate to the student’s academic performance. Progress is measured by clinical observation, student’s compliance, student’s self-report, and ultimately mid and final semester grades.

The interventions used in IAC are predominately cognitive-behaviorally based. Learning occurs through dialectical discussion and the use of various exercises in print and visual-verbal form. Interventions are tailored to the individual’s personality and learning style.

Attendees can expect to get a general overview of the approach, explore how the approach could be used with their current students, and the possible advantages of implementing this approach in their respective programs.

Workshop Session II:

Creating a Pathway for Enhanced Science Learning and Leadership through Scaffolded Mentoring
Nina Leonhardt – Suffolk Community College
Using case studies in various media formats, this session will focus on the value of scaffolded mentoring as a means of enhancing and supporting student learning and leadership for students in Suffolk County Community College's (SCCC) STEP and CSTEP. STEP employs a design-based approach to student research projects with mentoring by Suffolk CSTEP students, four-year college students, graduate students and pre-service teachers, many of whom are STEP alumni. .In addition, CSTEP students are empowered by their mentoring roles and learn from faculty who serve as their mentors.

During the last two years, over 12 mentors have been involved as student and faculty mentors. Through this network of college students and faculty, we have been able to foster the intellectual and social growth of STEP and CSTEP students. Students relate to the alumni and role models who are closer in age, and realize that the pursuit of higher education and careers in science, math, and engineering are attainable goals.

Theoretical Framework: The notion of scaffolded learning is based on providing support to the learner from numerous levels of social interactions with ever more knowledgeable people as guides (Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976; Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch et al, 1980). These supports are especially useful for designed-based learning experiences for middle school students who can benefit from assistance to work through the complexities of problem-solving and critical analysis (Puntambekar & Kolodner, 2005).

e-Portfolio: A Tool for Success (with a Focus on Nursing)
Susan Rosenberg, Iona Thomas-Conner, Naomi Greenberg – LaGuardia Community College

This workshop will introduce ePortfolio and its applications for generic use within CSTEP. The four components of ePortfolio: collect, select, reflect and connect will be addressed as they relate to marketing for student success, including presentations and showcase opportunities. Using new technology, ten elements of a potential student ePorfolio will be demonstrated. These range from an interactive resume with hyperlinks to creating a digital story with movie maker.

Participants will learn how students effectively prepare an audio module, a skills video, a PowerPoint presentation on a research project and more for uploading to their ePortfolios. The emphasis will be on reflection with composite results shared. The presentation will encompass different populations, from students in New Student Seminar beginning a Basic ePortfolio during their first term at the college to those preparing an advanced eportfolio for use as graduates. Handouts will describe the varied possibilities for use of the ePortfolio concept. The possibilities can address progress over time for individual student assessment to total CSTEP Program assessment.

This session will also provide specific focus on documenting nursing students’ development and reflection through the use of ePortfolio. E-Portfolio provides a rich repository for documentation of students’ growth and development through the individual assignments and group activities that are required as the students negotiate their educational process and professional development.

As nursing is evolving into a more complex and technically driven practice, educators need to look at a variety of teaching strategies for documenting and evaluating the teaching –learning process of our students as we prepare them for the real world of nursing. This real world environment now requires nurses to not only demonstrate entry-level competencies, but also continued development and growth. States and certification bodies are now looking at portfolios as a method to asses these requirements. Thus, nursing educators preparing students for the future must consider incorporating portfolio assessment as a viable method to be used by nursing students to document their educational growth and experience. The e-Portfolio provides an excellent medium to serve this purpose, as it user friendly and allows the students, with guidance of faculty, the ability to be in control of how his or her academic work is displayed. It can help develop students’ reflective and self-analysis skills and behavior, allowing for quick conceptualized interaction between student and faulty with the goal of transforming the student from passive learner into a more interactive participant. While studying nursing using e-Portfolio, students develop critical, reflective thinking skills which help them identify goals, develop new skills, to carry through their nursing student practice and beyond.

University of Virginia’s College Guide Program
Mark Caldwell and Lauren Ross – University of Virginia
The College Guides Program seeks to help more Virginia students attend college or other postsecondary training. Through a generous gift from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, recent U.Va. graduates will be able to serve as college guides in selected public secondary institutions throughout the Commonwealth. Guides will assist students with admission, financial aid, and scholarship applications.

About the Program:
In the fall of 2005, the University of Virginia launched the College Guide Program with the goal of increasing college enrollment numbers for high school students throughout the Commonwealth. Although 79% of Virginians ages 18-24 have high school diplomas, only 53% of Virginians attend college directly out of high school. To address the widening gap in college participation, the University of Virginia is placing recent graduates in public high schools throughout the Commonwealth to assist students with college admission, financial aid, and scholarship applications. Given their idealism and fresh perspective on the college experience, recent University graduates serve as perfect advocates for higher education. During the year, Guides spend forty hours a week working alongside guidance counselors —and in some cases in coordination with other access programs—to motivate and assist students through the college application process. College Guides act as mentors to students and create educational programming for the high school students and their families.

University-BOCES Partnership as an Administrative Model for Educational Outreach
Dr. Peter Turner and Dr. Michael Ramsdell – Clarkson University & Gail Gotham and Ellen Glasgow – St. Lawrence/Lewis BOCES
In this session we will describe the blossoming partnership between Clarkson University and the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES which has resulted in a thriving and growing range of educational outreach programs for our rural, sparsely populated, and economically disadvantaged region. Our IMPETUS for Career Success STEP program is the latest example of this cooperation. For the STEP program itself this partnership enabled the University to take advantage of already established communication channels and personnel at the BOCES who know the school administrative offices, regulatory and transportation system without our needing to establish a separate administrative office for the program. For the BOCES the partnership brings easy connection to higher education expertise in a STEM-intensive research university with close community ties.

The partnership allows University faculty to concentrate on their areas of expertise, and bringing a greater awareness of STEM disciplines and careers to the local K-12 community while the BOCES provides the support network and, importantly, guidance on aligning proposed activities to K-12 curricula and standards. Both Clarkson and the BOCES have established Offices of Educational Partnerships that are forging closer ties to provide an excellent liaison service between local school districts and appropriate faculty in the University. Starting with the Mathematics Partnership, activities have expanded to include a wide variety of programs, topics and grade levels under various state and nationally funding agencies.

After the initial presentation, we intend to devote as much time as possible to open discussion of our partnership as a model for University-based educational outreach programs.

Setting Up a Tutoring Program
Rihab Guneid – Queensborough Community College
Tutorial Services/Instructional Support plays an important role in students’ academic success. Setting up tutorial services is relatively simple and easy. Identifying tutorial support models, recruiting and training tutors, scheduling appointments and collecting data are all essential components to build and maintain instructional support services. The purpose of this workshop is to equip the CSTEP directors with the basic knowledge to create, develop and expand tutorial services to CSTEP students.

Workshop Session III:

The Luck of the Draw: Playing with the Hand that You Are Dealt
Sara Morrison and Carol Kissam, St. Lawrence University
What do we really know about the cultural and ethnic diversity of the students we serve – or even about one another? This experiential workshop is designed to help us understand unique aspects of our students and us and the stereotypes that prevail. The round table (debrief) sessions after this card party activity generally produce some very rich conversations and better understandings. Many walk away transformed in some way.

Practice, Compete, Win Fabulous Prizes! Science Bowl as a tool for academic reinforcement, enrichment, and inspiration for a future in STEM
Donna Augustine – Monroe Community College
As educators looking for novel ways to enrich and encourage our students in the STEM fields, Science Bowl is a way to make learning fun. Science Bowl encourages students to get involved in math and science activities and become serious students through preparation for Science Bowl events. Students enjoy the thrill of competition that Science Bowl affords. They are motivated to compete for opportunities to travel and other excellent prizes.

Each Science Bowl team is composed of four students, one alternate student, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and a coach. Teams face each other in a Jeopardy style tournament where they are quizzed on scientific topics in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth science, general science, and mathematics.

This workshop is for those interested in forming a team(s) of students to participate in the 2008 Science Bowl season. Several regional Science Bowl events that are part of the Department of Energy’s National Science bowl will take place in New York, including the STEP Science Bowl in Rochester. Additional competitions are held by professional and local organizations throughout the year.

Workshop topics will include:

  • What is Science Bowl and how can I get a team involved?
  • What should a coach do to prepare a team for Science Bowl?
  • How might the methods of Science Bowl be used for additional academic enrichment?
  • What are the opportunities for CSTEP students to be part of Science Bowl?

Towards Sustainability: Building an Infrastructure while Straddling the Chasm
Lloyd R. Sherman, EDD – Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
How have we made it this far? How far are we - really? And when we go, what will be left?

After 20 years, we need to face those tough questions … politics continues to leave our programs with considerable uncertainty. A program is sustainable only to the extent that it is able to weather the flux in the environment.

This Workshop will present the 20-year story of Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Center for Excellence in Youth Education’s STEP Program: How it built sustained relationships with a cluster of public schools and the Department of Education – and simultaneously became integrated into the Department of Medical Education; how we developed dyad pedagogy along with an array of curricula and evaluations that motivate and document student learning; how we developed the funding stream to keep it going these past 20 years; and what’s in the future. The workshop will highlight key strategies and activities that have had significant impact during the course of this journey.

Literacy Development for Pre-College Students
Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers - Long Island University
The seminar will present a model of a summer literacy development program designed for incoming freshmen, one that has demonstrated its efficacy at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. We believe that this model, with little or no modification, can be adapted for use elsewhere. This program presents a unique opportunity for pre¬-freshmen to develop strong reading and writing skills, critical thinking skills, and discussion techniques, which students will be able to utilize in their academic career and for many years after. The four-week intensive seminar utilizes campus-based and standardized assessment methods to help design a student-centered learning experience. Utilizing small group instruction, peer mentoring, and campus explorations, students are introduced to college-level reading and writing. This systematic beginning to general education is a model that actually works and is particularly worthwhile for incoming students whose basic skill need improving.

This presentation will provide an overview of the program’s goals and design, instructional objectives, and assessment data to evaluate student learning.

Internships 101
Sara Morrison and Carol Kissam, St. Lawrence University
Internships 101 is a professional development workshop based on the SUNY New Paltz AC2 Program’s successful internship program. SUNY New Paltz students logged over 5,000 internship hours last year. The SUNY New Paltz AC2 Program kicks off “internship season” every fall semester with an Internship Week for students. The programming includes student discussion panels, professional development workshops such as resume writing and personal statements, Internships 101: a workshop on navigating the web and other sources to find internships and a business etiquette dinner experience. Internship newsletters are also sent out several times each semester with current opportunities and application deadlines.

This workshop is an overview on how to develop an internship program based on students needs. Topics such as how to prepare students for the internship experience, where to search for internships, what resources are available out there for both CSTEP staff and their students and how to address students’ particular needs, will be covered. This workshop would be especially helpful to new directors.

Best Practices Plenary I

NSF STEM Program Metrics: Implications for CSTEP and STEP
Fitzgerald B. Bramwell, PhD
The New York State Education Department CSTEP and STEP programs have parallel interests with those of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in increasing the number of historically underrepresented students who enroll in and complete secondary, undergraduate, or graduate programs leading to professional licensure or careers in mathematics, science, and technology.

Evaluation of NSF science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs requires metrics that analyze program effectiveness with respect to intellectual merit and broader impacts. The parallel nature of the CSTEP and STEP programs with those of the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate, suggests that these metrics may be useful in measuring CSTEP and STEP program effectiveness.

Presented are long-term study results of higher education in Kentucky and Louisiana using one of these metrics: the baccalaureate origins of doctorates in the physical sciences.

Metric analysis shows that the Kentucky higher education system failed to enhance the production of U.S. Black and U.S. Hispanic STEM baccalaureates that later earned doctorates. For example, Kentucky higher education institutions produced one Black and no Hispanic baccalaureates that earned a physics doctorate over twenty-five years from 1978-2002.

In contrast to the Kentucky higher education system, there was significant growth in the percentage and absolute numbers of U.S. Blacks earning doctoral degrees in the biological sciences and in chemistry after obtaining baccalaureates with the Louisiana system. For example, in 1999 U. S. Blacks earned 55% of the chemistry doctorates and in 2001 earned 31% of the biology doctorates whose baccalaureate origins were in Louisiana.

Best Practices Plenary II

Pegasus Success Program at the University of Central Florida
2006 Noel-Levitz Retention Excellence Award Winner
DeLaine Priest and Sandra Macaulay Leon-Barth – University of Central Florida
The Pegasus Success Program (PSP) is a University of Central Florida (UCF) collaborative learning community that focuses on an integrated curriculum, interdisciplinary courses, and social interaction to provide a strong academic and personal development foundation to inspire students to achieve their full potential. PSP is targeted at students who fall just below the regular admission standards but show the potential to succeed with initial guidance. The program runs for six weeks prior to the start of fall semester. Fall admittance to UCF is contingent on success in summer courses taken in conjunction with the program.

In an effort to increase retention and academic success of marginally prepared students, PSP provides a structured environment for students to learn how to succeed in college. Through a combination of such things as academic advising, peer mentoring, and supplemental instruction, students are immersed into college in a controlled and guided environment. This environment provides these students with the support and guidance needed to learn how to be successful and assists with the transition to college.

The structured six-week summer program requires students to attend each scheduled event and strongly encourages them to live in on-campus housing during the program. On average, 150 students have participated each year since its inception in 1995. Upon arrival, students attend an orientation to the program where they are introduced to the schedule and concepts of the six weeks. The program includes:

  • Two pre-selected classes that ensure all PSP students get the foundation needed for future college success;
  • Comprehensive weekly academic support programs (tutoring, supplemental instruction, workshops);
  • Weekly meetings (both face-to-face and via e-mail) with their academic advisor coordinated with specific assignments on such topics as goal setting and time management;
  • Peer mentors;
  • Learning communities including specific residence hall space;
  • Freshman Seminar classes;
  • A welcome program, closing ceremony, and parent/ student orientation;
  • Cultural and social programming;
  • Personal growth activities;
  • "AcademiKit" to enhance academic skills.

PSP also utilizes the programs and services of multiple departments, including: Office of Student Involvement, Writing Center, Housing and Residence Life, Student Wellness, Police Department, Library, Diversity Initiatives, Counseling, University Testing Center, Career Services, and Consumer Credit Counseling. By using existing programs, the students are introduced to available services on campus and the entire campus is involved in the success of these students.

Overall, PSP students enter UCF with lower SAT scores (lower predictors of success), but typically earn the same or higher GPAs and have approximately the same retention rates as regularly admitted students. Since 2000, the retention rate for the PSP has consistently been 97 percent with an average freshman-to-sophomore retention rate hovering around 80 percent. Further, the 1999 PSP students have a 62 percent six-year graduation rate and 2000 students have a 59 percent 5-year graduation rate.
This program provides a positive structure for reaching out to students who are underprepared for college, providing them the tools necessary to complete their college degree. Through the 10 years the program has operated, it has consistently demonstrated success.

Best Practices Plenary III

Michigan Technological University’s ExSEL Program
2006 Noel Levitz Retention Excellence Award Winner
Susan Liebau – Michigan Technological University
This presentation will discuss Michigan Technological University’s ExSEL Program. The ExSEL program is a partnership between Michigan Tech’s Department of Educational Opportunity and the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Park (KCP) Initiative. Educational Opportunity and the KCP Initiative are advocates for academically and economically disadvantaged students, who are also often from underrepresented populations. By combining grade monitoring, peer mentoring, collaborative efforts, regular staff contact, referrals to campus resources and a fall semester student success course, the program has worked to improve those students’ retention. First-year retention for 2005-06 participants was 88.9%; University retention for first-year students was 80.7%.

Like many programs of its kind, ExSEL is faced with a myriad of challenges and opportunities that correlate with supporting student success. Maintaining data, tracking student performance and regular evaluation is a beneficial part of discovering effective tools. Along with ongoing assessment, the program pursues new and innovative ways to engage students and support their success. This session will also give a brief history of the evolution of the ExSEL program, changes due to the end of affirmative action in Michigan and its direction for the future.


Click here to see a printable Workshop Abstract Booklet.

[.pdf file]



For additional information contact Conference Chairs:

Barbara Jones Jones
Mercy College
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Phone: ( 914) 674-7204
Fax: (914) 674-7274
or Sean Partridge
216 Sisson Hall - SUNY
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: (315) 267-2192
Fax: (315) 267-3061