Student Transition Engineering Program at University Park (STEP-UP)

The Student Transition Engineering Program at University Park (STEP-UP) is a student-run event that aids engineering students in their transition from a Commonwealth Campus to University Park.

This three-day event, held in the State College Hyatt, is facilitated by the following Penn State chapter of national organizations: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The coordinators arrange networking opportunities with both students and industry professionals, professional development workshops, and an opportunity for friendly competition of engineering skills among peers.

Students who attend STEP-UP gain the valuable skills of navigating a large campus, building meaningful relationships, and thriving both academically and professionally. Participants have the unique opportunity to meet other students who are transitioning to University Park. Attendees are also matched with a peer mentor, who will offer guidance during the transition to University Park.

Why participate?

The benefits to participating in STEP-UP include the following opportunities:

  • Create a community you can connect with from the start
  • Attend campus tours and social activities
  • Corporate networking
  • Breakout sessions with corporate sponsors
  • Mentoring — to help you get involved on campus and how to tackle the transition

Participants will attend team building activities and professional development breakout sessions. We will be staying in the Hyatt in downtown State College, and most of our sessions will occur in the common areas there. This program gives a unique opportunity to meet other students who are transitioning to University Park with similar majors in engineering. It will also provide you with a mentor who will help guide you to get more comfortable with the campus and show you what it all has to offer.

Event Descriptions

Extreme Engineering Competition

As engineers, being able to solve a task by implementing fundamental skills from the classroom is key. In the Extreme Engineering Competition, participants work in teams of five to six members to strengthen their communication skills. Participants develop problem-solving skills and gain interpersonal connections with other students. This event will also involve the participation of mentors to support the teams and company representatives who will judge and provide feedback to the teams.

Résumé Workshop

Professional development is a stepping stone to becoming a future leader in industry. The résumé is a company’s first impression of a student. In our effort to produce the best candidates for any engineering position, we start with the résumé. The Résumé Workshop is an hour-long event held on the second day of the program. The students are first advised by upperclass students on the basics of a résumé, and then company representatives have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with students to give additional feedback on their résumés.

Networking Reception

Career advancement and networking are necessary skills in industry. The STEP-UP Networking Reception is an opportunity for underrepresented students to connect with companies in an informal setting. The companies are stationed at high-top tables, allowing students to rotate and interact with professionals. The company representatives share future career opportunities at their company and start to develop a relationship with students they will see again at the fall career fair.


There is no cost associated with this program for participants.

Become a mentor

Past participants or upperclass students are welcome to apply to be a mentor. Upperclass students who have previously transitioned are encouraged to apply. The role of the mentors is crucial to the success of the STEP-UP.

Duties include:

  • Assist with participant recruitment
  • Assist with team-building exercises
  • Assist with planning activities
  • Provide both academic and social mentorship
  • Handle conflicts effectively


  • Gain valuable leadership skills
  • STEP-UP T-shirt
  • Résumé builder

Become a sponsor

Sponsorship through STEP-UP is available as three tiers. A more detailed description is available in the STEP-UP sponsorship brochure.

2020 STEP-UP Dates:

  • April 3–5, 2020

contact us more information sponsorship information


The Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion assists women and multicultural students in the pursuit of their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Our support system of faculty and staff encourages current students to become involved with our programs and student organizations.

Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion

College of Engineering

112 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4287