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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Step Ahead Program

Step Ahead Program
Math, Writing, & Resources

Contact Information

Jim Wohlpart, Ph.D.
Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University
Phone: (239) 590-1094

Allison Bacigalupi, M.Ed., MBA
Academic Advisor for Special Populations
Undergraduate Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University
Edwards Hall, Room 214D
Phone: (239) 590-1096

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Step Ahead?
Step Ahead is a Summer Bridge Program for specially selected first-time-in-college (FTIC) students to give them a jump start at Florida Gulf Coast University. Students take either MAT 1033 Intermediate Algebra (3 credits) OR ENC 1130 Improving College Writing (3 credits). Course enrollment is determined by the student's academic profile, and registration is processed by the Step Ahead Coordinator. Students also participate in a variety of academic and life skill activities through the Center for Academic Achievement and the Writing Center, including tutoring, supplemental instruction, student success skill workshops, and individual meetings with academic advisors and academic retention coordinators. Students will also have access to a variety of resources on-campus, such as Career Development Services, Library Services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Student Health Services, Wellness and Prevention, and Student Involvement.

Who is eligible to participate in Step Ahead?
Undergraduate Admissions invites students to participate in the Step Ahead summer bridge program based on their high school GPA and standardized test scores, and it is open to students who are invited only. Space is limited to 25 students for Step Ahead Writing (ENC 1130), and 75 students for Step Ahead Math (MAT 1033).

How do I know if I am eligible to participate in Step Ahead?

Students invited to participate in the Step Ahead Program as part of their admission to Florida Gulf Coast University will receive an admission offer via email and postal mail from Undergraduate Admissions. Students will then receive follow-up communication from the Step Ahead Program Coordinator with next steps for reserving a seat in the program. Students can only participate in the program by invitation only. The Step Ahead Program is available to students on a first-come, first-served basis, and there are limited seats available.

When does the Step Ahead Program take place?
The Step Ahead Program takes place during the six-week Summer B session, which runs from Monday, June 23, 2014 to Friday, August 1, 2014.

What are the components of the Step Ahead Program?
Students in Step Ahead Writing will complete ENC 1130, Improving College Writing (3 credits), and students in Step Ahead Math will complete MAT 1033 (Intermediate Algebra). Students will also be required to complete additional tutoring, supplemental instruction, student success skill workshops, and individual meetings with the Center for Academic Achievement and the Writing Center. Students also take a specially reserved Step Ahead course in the fall semester, either ENC 1101 (Writing) or MAC 1105 (Math). These fall courses are taught by the same great instructors from the summer, to give students a sense of continuity for the material.

What if I am expecting accelerated credit from dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge AICE?
Students expecting to receive any form of accelerated credit should make sure that their official college transcripts (dual enrollment) or official test scores (AP, IB, AICE) from College Board, etc. are sent to FGCU Undergraduate Admissions so that the credit for these courses can be articulated onto the student's FGCU transcript. Undergraduate Admissions will also put holds on these students' accounts in September if transcripts or test scores are not received in a timely manner, and this hold will prevent students from registering for future classes! Questions regarding official transcripts, test scores, or articulation should be directed to FGCU Undergraduate Admissions (1st floor of Howard Hall) at (239) 590-7878 or

Why should I participate in Step Ahead?
The Step Ahead program is going into its eighth season, and is anticipating an even more successful year than ever before! The Step Ahead Program boasts an extremely high success rate for its students, and prepares students for the complete college experience they are embarking upon. It is also helpful with the transition the students will be making from high school to a fulltime college workload in the fall semester. The Step Ahead Program will not only give students additional assistance in a developmental area with the support of tutoring and resources, but will challenge students, making them more comfortable with the transition to college and give them the tools to continue on the pathway of success in the future. Students will also be able to network and build relationships with a sample of the great instructors FGCU offers.

How do I register for the Step Ahead Program?
Once you receive notification from Undergraduate Admissions that you have been specially selected to participate in the Step Ahead Program, you will receive a follow-up email from the Step Ahead Coordinator with detailed instructions about your next steps that need to be taken in order to reserve your seat in the program. Once your seat has been reserved, the Step Ahead Coordinator will register you for your summer and fall Step Ahead courses.