STEP: Student Expedition Program
The STEP Program is a comprehensive approach to the development of successful college students. Students enter STEP in their sophomore year. After a student/parent orientation and a team-building ropes course, they embark on a two-year program of monthly college-prep workshops. These workshops are designed to guide students through the process of preparing for and applying to colleges, both within Arizona and around the country, with an emphasis on what it takes to become a competitive college applicant.
In the summer following their junior year, students participate in a profoundly empowering three-week leadership wilderness expedition with STEP and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). STEP partners with NOLS because it is at the forefront of leadership training nationwide, as evidenced by the fact that a NOLS expedition is now part of every astronaut’s training before they go into space. Working in collaboration with NOLS, STEP’s leadership expedition is specifically designed to increase students’ self-confidence, enhance their ability to meet unfamiliar challenges, and widen their view of what’s possible for the future.
Upon their return from expedition, STEP students begin applying to the colleges of their choice with an added sense of confidence in themselves and their abilities. The program culminates with a college send-off celebration at the end of their senior year. Students graduate from STEP not only prepared to enter college, but prepared to meet the many challenges they’ll face there and finish college successfully.