Recruiting Inquisitive Students for the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
It is no secret STEM fields and many licensed professions lack representation of underrepresented populations. There are many contributing factors and it is important to help support our students through these career trajectories. Lack of awareness, access to research opportunities, mentoring or financial resources can at times inhibit the growth of underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students to develop into research scholars in theSTEM fields.
Fortunately, RIT’s CSTEP is actively recruiting historically underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged students who are in their undergraduate studies and are motivated to discover solutions and approach problem-solving creatively. We seek to position students in a well-connected and information-rich learning environment while increasing their working knowledge in a research lab. CSTEP provides additional services that advance the goal of the program of fostering academic excellence such as tutoring and funding resources for textbooks, research, and travel.
“We want to encourage RIT students to build upon their classroom education by exposing themselves to hands-on learning experiences,” said Maria Vega, Director of the CSTEP program. “If a student wants to propel their research experiences, apply for research funding, attend professionaldevelopment workshops or are interested in presenting their research at a conference, then CSTEP is the right program for them,” Vega added.
CSTEP also helps to inform and support undergraduate students, who are interested in attending graduate school. Throughout the course of the program, students will have access to workshops to delineate a smoother transition into graduate school, improve their presentation skills and learnhow to effectively work with faculty.
“I always wanted to do research, it was the CSTEP program that made my dream come true. Along with my academic career, I could get research experience and communicate with professors and scientists solving real-world problems. This not only gave me exposure in the scientific community, but it also enhanced my confidence,” said Fatima Zara, a Biotechnology student at RIT.