Rutgers University rolled out an intensive, six-week pre-college program called STEP (Scholars Training and Enrichment Program) in 2007. The short-term goal: to help high-potential students from underperforming New Jersey public high schools—who plan to matriculate to Rutgers Business School in Newark—succeed academically. In the long run, STEP is helping build a constant pipeline of underrepresented talent for corporations nationwide.
Nearly 60 scholars have completed the summer residential program, which includes traditional courses such as accounting and English as well as study skills, time management and public speaking. These students are also achieving GPAs that meet or exceed the average of all students in the business school.
STEP recently completed its fourth session with 20 students from a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds. Thanks to the financial support of companies such as Tyco, PSEG and DiversityInc, these students and their predecessors have been given career opportunities many thought were impossible. "Coming to STEP was the best decision at this point in my life. It helped me grow as an individual and helped me reach levels of excellence I thought were impossible for me," says one scholar.
Watch the videos below to find out more about this initiative from STEP Program Founder and Rutgers Business School Associate Professor of Business Strategy Dr. dt ogilvie and 2009 STEP scholar Sophia Mondesir.