STEP 2 is a student support services program that assists transfer students from South Plains College that have completed their Associates of Arts in Teaching at South Plains College and desire to obtain their certification to teach from a 4-year institution. STEP 1 is to complete the AAT (Associate of Arts in Teaching). STEP 2 is to transfer to Texas Tech University. The partnership between South Plains College and Texas Tech College of Education began in 2005 with the first cohort of transfer students. As has been well documented, Latinos that begin college at a community college are highly unlikely to complete the 2 year program and even less likely to matriculate to a 4-year institution. There is an average of 29 students in the program each semester. This program has served 124 students and has a 100% track record in graduating Latino students.
STEP 2 assists transfer students from South Plains College (who have completed their Associates of Arts in Teaching) with completing their teaching certification to teach and completing their four-year degree at Texas Tech University.
STEP 2 has a 100% retention of transfer students and 100% graduation rate of program participants. The 2005 cohort was comprised of 27 students, of which 49% were Latino students or 13 students. All 27 students graduated from Texas Tech University with education degrees within 2 years. Since 2005, STEP 2 has assisted 124 transfer students, of which about 35% have been Latino students. Some students have taken 2.5 years to graduate; however, the program has not lost a single student. This is attributable to the support services provided to the students. Workshops to prepare students for certification exams, workshops to address time management, financial planning, stress management, tutoring as needed, and financial support through stipends, are well attended by the students. STEP 2 was recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2008 as a STAR award recipient for the outstanding retention and graduation rate of the students in the program.