The Ohio State University at Newark

Second-Year Transformational Experience Program

STEP is a fellowship program with the goal of getting students engaged in exciting outside-the-classroom activities. As a STEP student, you will attend a weekly meeting in the autumn semester with a faculty mentor and other STEP students. The goal is to explore your interests and make connections with other students and a faculty mentor who can guide you. Your STEP class might design a pumpkin, take a personality test, practice meditation or discuss your career dreams. It’s all about forming bonds with your mentor and your peers and learning about academic enrichment opportunities — study abroad, research, internships and more. STEP is aimed at helping you make connections in your second year, as you make important decisions like choosing a major or getting involved in research. We want to bring support and a community to your college experience in a fun and transformational way!

Now here’s the really exciting part: If you participate in the fall classes and complete some other requirements, you are eligible for up to $2,000 to put toward one of those activities. The project that you decide to do with your $2,000 does not have to be related to your major. You can do just about any project that interests you, as long as it is professionally led.

Although you meet weekly, STEP meetings are not classes (no grades, no homework!). If you stop attending, that’s ok! But stick around so you can earn the $2,000 fellowship!

What’s Expected of STEP Students?

As a STEP student, you will meet weekly in the autumn with a faculty mentor and a group of peers to explore personal and professional interests. Every cohort is different, so what exactly you do each week will be up to your mentor and you! To be eligible for the fellowship at year’s end, you are also required to attend three on-campus activities (called professional development co-curriculars), a STEP Expo and an online financial wellness activity.

In the spring, if you have attended most of the fall classes and fulfilled the other requirements, submit an application for up to $2,000 in funds to pay for a project in one of these categories:

  • Creative and Artistic Endeavors
  • Education Abroad
  • Internship
  • Leadership
  • Service-Learning and Community Service
  • Undergraduate Research
If you fulfill the program requirements, you will receive a fellowship of up to $2,000 to use toward a Signature Project that can be transformational to your future.

​​Benefits of STEP

Cohort Meetings — During the autumn semester, you meet weekly with the Faculty Mentor to focus on personal development, career exploration, personal reflection, wellness, and community building.

Professional Development Co-Curriculars (PDCs) — A cornerstone of STEP is connecting second-year students with meaningful co-curricular experiences on campus that support their development, encourage skill development, and provide opportunities for personal reflection. Therefore you are expected to attend three events on campus over the academic year. This might be a film followed by a lecture, a workshop on writing personal essays, or a guest speaker. There are lots of options each semester, and you can choose based on your interests.

Financial Wellness — This component of STEP will help you not only with utilizing your STEP fellowship but also in life. You will complete an online module to learn the basics of budgeting and planning.

STEP Signature Project — While you do not have weekly meetings in the spring semester, you will work with your mentors to develop your STEP Signature Project proposal.

STEP Expo — At the STEP Expo, you will have the opportunity to interact with past STEP participants about their STEP Signature Projects. You are expected to attend the Expo (but Newark students may join virtually).

Faculty Mentor — Faculty members will guide you through an exploration of education-enhancing experiences and provide advice and mentoring outside the classroom.

Fellowship — After submitting the project proposal in the spring, if you have fulfilled the requirements, you have another 15 months to complete your STEP signature project, whether that be an internship, a study abroad course, or a creative activity like photography, dance, or art.

STEP is a way for you to enrich your college experience outside of the classroom at The Ohio State University Newark.

If you plan to be primarily on the Columbus campus next year, you can apply to be a STEP participant on the Columbus campus by making sure the “I’m interested” box is checked on your housing renewal form that you will receive via your university e-mail in February. For more information about STEP across the university, visit or contact

To indicate your interest in joining or learning more about STEP at Newark:

Contact STEP Coordinator Madeline Sharp at or