Students Transitioning into Effective Professionals (STEP)

The STEP Program is a professional training program designed to help students gain practical knowledge and develop essential skills to succeed in the "world of work". Although the STEP program is open to all students in the School of Public Health, the program primarily serves under-served minority, first-semester (transfer or freshman), and/or first-generation college students. Through a series of workforce training workshops, students will enhance their competencies in communication, leadership and cultural intelligence in a professional environment. This semester-long experience ends with students developing with their own Individualized Strategic Plan for workforce development (Note: the capstone project is during the months of January and June). The STEP program allows students to embrace a supportive community and develop a professional network while in an active and engaging learning environment. 

WATCH the STEP Program featured on "FB Live with Dean Lushniak and Kelly Sherman '21"

Workforce Training Sessions will be held bi-weekly, in the School of Public Health Building.

Fall 2020 Workshop Series (tentative) Date
Session 1: College to Work - Transferable Skills Sept. 2nd
Session 2: Creating and Managing a Professional Network Sept. 16th
Session 3: Diversity & Inclusion Explained Sept. 30th
Session 4: Personal Work Style & Leadership  Oct.14th
Session 5: Non-Traditional Public Health Careers & Graduate School Oct. 28th
Session 6: The Unwritten Rules of the Professional Work Place Nov. 11th
Session 7: Budgeting, Benefits, and Basic Personal Finance Nov. 18th 
 
Applications for Fall 2020 are now open.  Apply HERE!
 
**Please Note: Participants must be a current undergraduate student within the School of Public Health in order to participate.**
 

The STEP Capstone Project

The STEP Capstone Project is a personalized project that includes a mixture of applications and professional skill-building. The project requires at least 16-hours of professional engagement. Its an opportunity for you to spend your break investing in yourself be acknowledged for it! Students who complete the Capstone Project are permitted to receive a Letter of Recommendation for their future endeavors. Letters can be drafted to support: scholarships, Graduate School admissions, 4+1 Master Programs, Greek Life, and more!

In order to complete the STEP Capstone Project students must be admitted it the STEP cohort. The capstone project is an optional activity conducted during the academic break (winter or summer). For more information please email sph-step@umd.edu.

Double Step - Peer Mentors

Double Steppers are Peer Mentors within the STEP Program. These students have completed the STEP curriculum and received a Certificate of Excellence for this hard work and dedication to the program. Double Steppers receive a Certificate of Scholarship after a one-semester of commitment and are eligible to receive a Letter of Recommendation from the STEP program for scholarships, Graduate School admissions, 4+1 Master Programs, Greek Life, and more!

Double Steppers follow a monthly workshop schedule of advanced professional training, while also leading activities and giving presentations during the STEP workshops. Being a Double Stepper is a one-semester commitment with the option to renew and continue each semester.

STEP Alumni

Sara Fernandez '22
Major: Public Health Science (PHSC)

                              

                                                                

Kirell Victoria Williams
Major: Public Health Science (PHSC)
Class of '20

Anuli Okeke
Major: Behavior and Community Health (BCH)
Class of '20

Ariel Koff
Major: Public Health Science (PHSC)
Class of '22

Double Stepper
Apryl Ogallo
Major: Behavior and Community Health (BCH)
Class of '20

Online Resources

FAQs

  • Can a student receive credit for participation in the program? STEP is an extra ciricular program, but if a student is a Double Stepper they may receive 1-credit for their participation in the program through registering for SPHL 333.
  •  Is there a fee required to participate? No, this program is completely free. 
  • Is there a dress code for the workshops? We exercise a “come as you are” policy. Whether suite, tie or gym clothes all are welcome. 
  • What if I cannot participate in the workshop sessions? Depending on the circumstances, students may be permitted to participate in the S.T.E.P. virtual experience, allowing them to rewatch the recordings from the in-person sessions. However, if a student cannot commit to rewatching the videos and doing the assignments, they can participate in the program for the following cohort.
  • How does the two-day shadowing opportunity work?  ​During the academic break, students can participate in a two-day shadowing opportunity. The first day students are a “fly on the wall” and observe their host employer in their work environment. The second day students can take smaller tasks and projects by their host employer (when possible). The STEP Program has an Employer Database, to which students can contact to schedule their  shadowing experience.  
  • What qualifications do I need to be admitted into the program? To be a current student within one of the four undergraduate SPH majors i.e. Kinesiology, Family Science, Behavioral and Community Health, and Public Health Science.  
  • What happens if I have to miss a session? The same way you would let your employer know you are not coming into work, please notify the S.T.E.P.  Team via email at ​sph-step@umd.edu​ of your absence​. ​Advance notice is preferred.
  • Do I have to attend the monthly study sessions and External Encounters? No, but participation is encouraged. These events allow you to build a sense of community in the program, while also strengthening your professional network and knowledge of the workforce.  
  • Can I meet with someone from the STEPoutside of scheduled events and workshops? Yes, you can schedule and appointment with us. Simply send an email to sph-step@umd.edu​ ​with your request and who you would like to meet with. 
  • Do I have to be in a specific major to participate in this program?  Kind of but not exactly, this program is open to all undergraduate students in the School of Public Healt

Staff Members

Tia M. Cunningham
Program Manager, Student Engagement and STEP Program
Email: tanksley@umd.edu I Phone: (301) 405-4397

 

Sabrina Roc
Graduate Assistant, CFT Masters Program
Email: sph-step@umd.edu I Phone: (301) 405- 4397