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Model Programs Database

School Transitional Environment Program (STEP)

University of Rhode Island
705 Chafee Hall
Kingston, RI 02881

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Contact Information:
Dr. Robert D. Felner
Director
401.874.2564
rfelner@uri.edu

Program Specification:

Emphasis:

Gender:

Rating:

Prevention
Intervention

Both

Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

Elementary
Middle School

Urban

Clusters/Groups

Ethnicity:

Other Participation Criteria:

African-American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic

Description:

The School Transitional Environmental Program (STEP) is based on the Transitional Life Events model, which theorizes that stressful life events, such as making transitions between schools, places children at risk for maladaptive behavior. Research has shown that, for many students, changing schools can lead to a host of academic, behavioral, and social problems and may lead to dropping out of school. STEP redesigns the high school environment to make school transitions less threatening for students and aims to increase peer and teacher support, decrease student anonymity, increase student accountability, and enhance students' abilities to learn school rules and exceptions.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Life Skills Training

Starting Date: Unspecified
Students Served Per Year: Unspecified
Last Verified: 2009

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • High-risk social behavior
  • Low achievement
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Low commitment to school
  • Misbehavior

Community factors

  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:

Relationships

  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers

Independence

  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards

Optimism

  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

Unspecified

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Unspecified

Teachers
Counselors

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Unspecified

Unspecified

Evaluation Information:

Several quasi-experimental studies have examined the STEP program, including high- and low-risk schools. STEP has been found to be more effective than programs targeting transitional life events through individual skill building and has been demonstrated effective at both middle and high school transitions. Long-term follow-up indicated that STEP students, compared to controls, had: more positive feelings about the school environment, higher grades, fewer absences, fewer increases in substance abuse and delinquent acts, fewer teacher reported behavior problems, higher academic expectations, and lower dropout rates.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
209 Martin Street
Clemson, SC 29631-1555
Toll Free: 866-745-5641
TDD: 866-212-2775
Fax: 864-656-0136
Email: NDPCSD-L@clemson.edu

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Last Updated: October 1, 2014