Access and Academic Enrichment Programs

The Office of Access and Academic Enrichment (AAE) offers the following programs as support to new and continuing undergraduates as they make their transition into the University at Albany community. These comprehensive support services include tutoring programs, study groups, access to mentoring programs, and study skills workshops. AAE administers programs that include the federally funded Student Support Service (SSS) program known on campus as Project Excel, the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP).

Project Excel (Student Support Services/TRIO)

Providing academic support and assistance designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of low-income, first-generation college and/or disabled students is the primary mission of the Project Excel Program. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Project Excel is a TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program. Project Excel strives to achieve its goal of a graduation rate of 72% of its participants by offering the following services: supplementary academic advisement, personal counseling, career planning, financial aid planning and information; peer mentoring; study skills workshops; support in writing and mathematics; tutoring; professional and graduate school speakers; graduate school application counseling; and field trips related to professional goals.

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

The mission of this program is to provide students from historically underrepresented groups (African American, Latino, and Native American descent) and low-income backgrounds with guidance and support to pursue professional degrees, licensed professions and doctorate degrees in science and technology. The Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) seeks to support undergraduate students with majors in science and/or technology fields including, but not limited to, mathematics, chemistry, biology, public health, physics, economics, information science, pre-engineering or computer science, with a cumulative GPA of a 2.80 or higher. The program also seeks students who are interested in pursuing licensed professions like law, nursing, or pharmacy, degrees leading to a certification as a public accountant (CPA), and students interested in teaching mathematics or science.

CSTEP students are provided with many opportunities to aid in their success. Some of the benefits include:

  • Career counseling
  • Information about the applications process for licensed professional degrees and Ph.D. programs
  • Discounts on some preparatory graduate exam courses that they may take in order to prepare for GRE, MCAT, GMAT, OAT, LSAT, or PCAT
  • Tutoring for science courses
  • Peer mentorship by upper classmen who have taken a majority of the pre-health curriculum
  • Faculty research opportunities through the University at Albany Summer Research Program (UASRP)

Additionally, there are other activities available to assist CSTEP students with their goal of securing a degree from undergraduate career through professional and doctorate degrees.

Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP)

This program serves middle and high school students in the capital region of Albany, New York. The Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) brings the college experience to the urban and city communities in Albany. STEP is part of a statewide body that is funded by the New York State Education Department.

STEP prepares historically underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged elementary and secondary school students to acquire the aptitude and skills necessary to pursue post-secondary degree programs that lead to professional careers in the scientific, technical, health-related, or other licensed professions.

The program also challenges parents and educators to become involved in the process to support the development of a “community of learners.” Students are expected to participate in and attend the annual statewide conference.

The goals of the program are as follows:

  • To stimulate, challenge, and encourage students to achieve in a technological setting
  • To introduce students to a variety of careers in the fields of math, science, and technology
  • To meet people in the industry and in education and to encourage students to pursue careers in math, science, and technology
  • To provide a non-threatening environment for students

The benefits of STEP are as follows:

  • Academic instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Counseling
  • Technology-based projects
  • Field trips
  • Enrichment activities