Teachers and students. smiling. bleachers.
This summer, a hoard of middle school and high school students descended on Hostos to begin their summer STEM journey as part of Hostos STEP/ Proyecto Access program.

An opening day ceremony was held in the gymnasium on June 30, as some of this year’s 160 participants and their parents learned about the program that was launched in New York in 1996 in response to the decline of freshman engineering enrollment among minority students.

The program at Hostos also has a college component, C-STEP (The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) where undergraduates at Hostos majoring in STEM mentor STEP students. Participants commit to a “STEM summer” through weeklong sessions that run from July 5 through August 12.

The highly intensive curriculum has students learning from Hostos faculty, staff and student mentors through classwork and research projects. Dr. Moise Koffi, a mathematics professor at Hostos and Director of the Hostos STEP/ Proyecto Access Program, believes that involving students in research at a young age keeps them engaged and makes their summer work fun.

“The hands-on activities that the program provides are so important,” Koffi said. “We want the students to touch and smell and learn to actually love science.”

The various research activities include topics in biology, mathematics, engineering and other STEM fields.

An annual survey shows that all of the college-eligible students who completed the program, perform above their peers, especially in mathematics courses and standardized math exams.

More about the Hostos STEP/ Proyecto Access Program
The program was funded by NASA in the summer of 1997 to serve 50 underrepresented, high achieving, low-income secondary school students who had an interest in learning and/or pursuing a career in engineering, mathematics, technology, and/or science.

Three years later, the New York State Education department provided the STEP/ Proyecto Access program with funds to expand its curriculum offerings, add an additional semester, and serve 200 additional students. Currently, Proyecto Access is funded by the New York State Education Department to serve 250 students each year in STEM disciplines.

The  STEP/ Proyecto Access program offers courses in Logic and its application to mathematics, introduction to engineering, introduction to computer science, physics, algebra , technical writing, probability and statistics, science enrichment courses, SSAT and SAT workshops, Common core Algebra and Geometry preparatory classes and problem solving.

Proyecto Access' Website: www.hostosproyectoaccess.org

STEP for Leaders: http://www.stepforleaders.org

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique Student Success Coaching Unit provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.