Step to College Program

Step to College Program

Director/PI: Ashley Cross

Step to College, which launched in summer 2018 under the University of Rochester’s EPO partnership with East High School, is an innovative pre-college program that aims to prepare Rochester students for admission to—and to persist in—two-year and four-year colleges.

Collaborators: East High School EPO Partnership

Funding: William and Sheila Konar Foundation, The Wegmans Foundation, and individual donors 

Related Projects: Center for Urban Education Success

Step to College (S2C) offers high school scholars and prospective college applicants an opportunity to experience the expectations and rigor of college through academic, social, recreational, and community related experiences. College access, persistence and completion for low-income, minority, and first-generation populations is critical to the economic well-being of our scholars, their families, and the Rochester community.
S2C hosts an intensive two-week academic boot camp, where students are able to sleep in dorms and study on the University of Rochester’s River Campus each summer. Students return for three consecutive summers of this boot camp. During the last two summers, they advance to college-level courses in reading, writing, and statistics. A unique aspect of S2C is the partnership it creates among middle/high school teachers and local college professors.  As part of the S2C academic boot camp, University of Rochester college professors coteach classes with East teachers.
East scholars participate in ongoing meetings throughout the school year to ensure academic success. As part of the program, scholars also partake in nightly workshops and academic lectures to assist them with the college application process, financial aid, college life, and positive relationship building with peers, mentors, professors, and student organizations.
Goals of the Programs
  • Provide scholars with academic rigor and experiences to prepare them for college persistence and completion.
  • Scholars will be socially-emotionally healthy.
  • Scholars will successfully transition to a two to four-year institution of higher learning.
  • Produce scholars of character who demonstrate traits for long term achievement.
  • Create a “college-going” culture at East High School.

University of Rochester-East EPO Partnership
The University of Rochester, as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for East High School, has assumed full management responsibilities for East, effective July 2015. The new East ( consists of a Lower School (grades 6-8) and an Upper School (grades 9-12), and aims to prepare all students for a successful transition into adulthood. A comprehensive community school with a robust set of services to support its diverse students, East offers a strong academic and career preparation program, including a daily advisory program and a full complement of athletic and extra-curricular activities that support and engage students.
To Learn More About…
Learn more about S2C, or contact Ashley Cross at (585) 288-3130 ext. 2160 or

Tags: Step to College