Since 1996 the Proyecto Access at Hostos has worked to stimulate students’ interest STEM

Stimulating students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has become a national priority. 

Since 1996 the Proyecto Access program at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York has helped to reverse this trend by identifying and recruiting high-achieving women and minority students, as well as socially and economically disadvantaged middle and high schools students with special aptitude for math, science, engineering and related fields, to facilitate their learning and foster their interest in these fields. 
Initially launched by NASA, the program was later expanded by the New York State Department of Education in response to the decline in freshman engineering enrollment among minority students in the United States. Proyecto Access has expanded to other U.S. cities with similar needs, but the intention is the same everywhere. Other key components of Proyecto Access include preparing students for the SAT, 8th grade specialized tests, and Regents Exams.
At Hostos, Proyecto Access is headed by Professor Moise Koffi, who also directs CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program). 
Proyecto Access is offered year-round, and The STEP/Proyecto Access Program is an academically rigorous six-week intensive summer session that focuses on the development of abstract reasoning and problem solving skills and places particular emphasis on learner-centered instruction, the use of technology in classroom instruction, and preparing students to transition from school into a high technology workplace. 
From July 1 to August 9, Dr. Koffi and a team of 12 other college professors and high school teachers will work with 150 or more students from a hundred area secondary schools from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the fall and spring semesters, Dr. Koffi also conducts a similar half-day STEM program with sessions held every Saturday at Hostos. 

The summer program places students in four levels, determined by their age and how well they know the subjects. On average, classes have 15 students. Level 1 includes pre-algebra, algebra, computer science, introduction to engineering, and technical writing classes. At the end of the day, there are also hour-long tutoring sessions at all levels. Level 4 emphasizes research and also prepares students to take the SAT exam. 
In addition to the learning students derive from lectures by STEM experts, classroom work and field trips, they also design and build towers, bridges or robots. “Not only do we really want students to learn, we also want them to gain practical experience,” Dr. Koffi said. “This will set them apart from the competition when they get to college and eventually enter the workforce.” 
For Dr. Koffi, the most important thing is getting students to return summer after summer to complete each level. To date, the retention rate for Proyecto Access averages 85 percent. Since 1996, approximately 3,000 students have completed the program.
The other branch of Proyecto Access led by Dr. Koffi is CSTEP. 
The next level after STEP, CSTEP/Proyecto Access provides tutoring support to Hostos undergraduates taking gateway courses in STEM. This program prepares them for a smooth transition to undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as opportunities to learn how to teach and conduct research with college faculty. 
CSTEP/Proyecto Access works with The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, which offers a dual engineering degree program with Hostos. 
In April of 2013, two Hostos CSTEP students shared their research at a conference held at the Sagamore on Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York. Hostos faculty member Dr. Damaris-Lois Lang served as a judge at the conference.

To learn more about Proyecto Access, go to

Back to Previous Page