STEP into STEM Frequently Asked Questions – Before Applying

Why did I receive this email?

The HSI-STEM emails all incoming freshmen STEM pre-major students to promote and advertise for the HSI-STEM programs. Read through all the program descriptions to see if an HSI-STEM program fits your needs and academic goals.

What is STEP Into STEM?

STEP into STEM is a two-week program for first-time freshmen to familiarize themselves with the social and academic expectations of college, increase preparation and confidence in mathematics, learn to navigate the CSULB campus, and build a network of STEM peers, faculty, and staff.

What are the benefits of participating in STEM into STEM?

Participation will allow students to connect with STEM peers, STEM faculty & staff, work on and finish the ALEKS math placement & learn about the various campus resources. A full time CSULB Faculty Math instructor provides the math preparation for the STEP Into STEM program.

Do I have to take the ALEKS?

Yes, all STEM students have to take the ALEKS test before SOAR and Registration. Make sure you check ALL emails regarding preparing for the Fall semester.

How much will STEP into STEM cost me?

The program is FREE. There is no cost to you!

Will STEP into STEM provide me food?

No, the STEP into STEM program may provide snacks and lunch on occasion, but will not provide lunch for most of the program. Because this program will take place at on campus, you are encouraged to bring a lunch or plan to purchase an item from campus eateries.

Can I participate in the program if I registered for a SOAR date in June?

No. Since a big component of the program is to complete math placement using ALEKS PPL, all participants need to register for a SOAR date in late July or early August of Summer 2022.

What is ALEKS PPL?

ALEKS PPL is an online placement software that helps determine your placement for math or chemistry or both, depending on your major. The software, along with other measures helps CSULB determine the best course placement for your first semester.

Should I complete ALEKS PPL for math placement before the program begins?

No. IF you are accepted into the program AND participate, you will complete ALEKS with STEP into STEM. There is time allocated in the program agenda for students to complete ALEKS PPL for math placement.

Can I participate in this program and other CSULB programs for freshmen?

No, each program has specific requirements and objectives. Choose the program that benefits you the most.

What’s the difference between the BESST program and STEP into STEM?

The BESST program is specifically for pre-engineering freshmen who will place in pre-calculus algebra and trigonometry or calculus 1 in the fall semester. The STEP into STEM program is open to both pre-majors in engineering and natural sciences and mathematics who will place in pre-calculus algebra and trigonometry or calculus 1 in the fall semester. The goal of the STEP Into STEM program is to facilitate the completion of ALEKS PPL for math placement prior to a students’ SOAR date while facilitating their connection and transition to the campus.

After I apply to STEP into STEM what happens next?

Students will receive an email confirming receipt of their application. Program staff will review applications following the deadline. Acceptance emails will be sent one to two weeks after the application deadline. Email the HSI-STEM team via email if you have any questions.

How do you select students for the program?

Students are selected based on their high school math courses, GPA, and math SAT/ACT scores. The STEP into STEM program will most benefit students who will place in pre-calculus trigonometry and algebra or calculus 1 in the fall semester.

Who can participate in the program?

Incoming freshmen with a pre-major in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or College of Engineering. The program highly encourages students who will enroll in pre-calculus trigonometry and algebra or calculus 1 in the fall semester to apply.

Can I work or have outside commitments during the program?

Other commitments are discouraged. However you will still be considered for the program as long as students are able to participate Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm during program dates.

Will I receive college credit?

No, participating students will not receive credit college credit. STEP into STEM is a math enrichment summer program and not a class.

STEP into STEM Frequently Asked Questions – Once Accepted

Why do I have to attend a Parent/Guardian orientation event?

The STEP into STEM Parent/Guardian orientation will outline the program components, program’s agenda, and student expectations. Parents/Guardians and students will be given important program information during this orientation.

I have to complete the Chemistry ALEKS. Should I complete it during the STEP into STEM program?

It is recommended that you complete the Chemistry ALEKS program before the STEP into STEM program as it will be strenuous to work on two assessment tests at the same time.

What happens after I participate in the program?

After participation, you will have the option to participate in the EXCEL Learning Communities based on a student’s math placement. Enrollment in the learning communities will take place at SOAR. The program gives STEM students access to a STEM peer mentor, STEM cohort courses, access to exclusive STEM development workshops, STEM tutoring and more.