Scholar Transition and Enrichment Program (STEP)
Formerly Seizing Opportunity for Academic Resilience (SOAR)
STEP is a cohort-based transition program that centers equity-assets based approaches to skill development and seeks to amplify the skills and lived experiences participants already possess. Cohort members will be supported in exploring the intersections of their identities, identifying academic preparedness skills, learning about institutional culture and supports, as well as identifying approaches to holistic wellness rooted in self and community care. Cohort members can expect to engage in group activities and individual reflection, connect with curricular and co-curricular campus resources, and gain tangible skills and knowledge about salient equity and justice topics.
STEP is the first opportunity for SDMA mentees to engage with the Department’s programs, pedagogy, and praxis. It serves as a scaffold for the learning and exploration journey mentees will navigate over the course of their time at the institution. There is no cost to participate in the program.
PROGRAM GOALS & LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Goal #1: Identify and examine socially constructed identifiers/identity markers and their impact on individuals, communities, and experiences.
1.1. Critically analyze one’s social identities through the exploration of power, privilege, and oppression to understand how these impacts one’s worldview.
1.2 Further a commitment to social justice through critical reflection and action.
Goal #2: Accentuate existing academic preparatory skills and practices while cultivating additional assets.
2.1 Highlight the unique socio-cultural and academic assets participants already possess and introduce new skills and strategies to enhance academic success.
2.2 Explore topics salient to college transition.
Goal #3: Gain an understanding of institutional culture and foster connections to curricular and co-curricular campus-based resources.
3.1 Explore ways to lean into vulnerability and activate help-seeking behavior.
3.2 Identify characteristics of Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and explore similarities in experiences amongst scholars of color.
3.3 Acquaint participants with campus-based resources.
Goal #4: Develop an understanding of salient equity, inclusion, and justice topics.
4.1 Introduce terminology and cultivate a shared understanding of language used in the Department and on campus.
4.2 Deepen commitment to utilizing inclusive language and practices in networks and community spaces.
40 participants will be selected from the Mentorship Program cohorts based on application materials.
Confirmed participation in any of the following SDMA Mentorship Programs: Students Together Are Reaching Success (STARS), Loyola University Chicago Empowering Sisterhood (LUCES), Queer Undergraduates of Empowerment, Support and Triumph (QUEST), and Brothers for Excellence (B4E)
Self-identify as a scholar of color and/or first-generation college student.
Attend all program sessions and participate in all workshops, facilitated dialogue, skill shares, and activities.
Applications for the 2022 - 2023 academic year will be available in July 2022.