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Step Ahead Program

Step Ahead Program

Step Ahead Program

Contact Information

Allison Bacigalupi, M.Ed., MBA
Director of Academic Advising
Undergraduate Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University
Edwards Hall, Room 214
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 six credits in the summer term: either MAT 1033 Intermediate Algebra (3 credits) OR ENC 1130 Improving College Writing (3 credits), and IDS 2930, Step Ahead Success (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, Prevention and Wellness, and Student Involvement.

Who is eligible to participate in Step Ahead?
Undergraduate Admissions invites specifically selected 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 50 students for Step Ahead Writing (ENC 1130/ IDS 2930), and 75 students for Step Ahead Math (MAT 1033/IDS 2930).

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 participate in the program by invitation from Undergraduate Admissions 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 25, 2018 to Friday, August 3, 2018.

What are the components of the Step Ahead Program?
Students in Step Ahead Writing will complete ENC 1130, Improving College Writing (3 credits) and IDS 2930, Step Ahead Success (3 credits), and students in Step Ahead Math will complete MAT 1033 (Intermediate Algebra) and IDS 2930, Step Ahead Success (3 credits). 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 (Step Ahead Writing) or a College Level Math Course (Step Ahead 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 immediately notify their Step Ahead Coordinator and 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 twelfth season (2018), 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.

Can I complete the Step Ahead courses at another institution during the summer? 

Due to the nature of the Step Ahead summer bridge program, students must complete the program on-campus at FGCU during the six-week summer B term.  Aside from coursework, Step Ahead participants will also be exposed to campus resources such as the Center for Academic Achievement, the Writing Center, peer mentoring, and academic advising.  The purpose of the program is to provide students with an early transition to college in order to become best acclimated with the campus and its available resources.

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.

What are the requirements for successful completion of the program? 

Students successfully complete the following requirements:

  • Step Ahead Math Students
    • Earn a grade of "C" or better in MAT 1033, Intermediate Algebra
    • Earn a grade of "C" or better in IDS 2930, Step Ahead Success
    • Complete all activities with the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) at a satisfactory level 
  • Step Ahead Writing Students
    • Earn a grade of "C" or better in ENC 1130 Improving College Writing
    • Earn a grade of "C" or better in IDS 2930, Step Ahead Success
    • Complete all activities with the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) and The Writing Center at a satisfactory level


How do I get registered for my summer Step Ahead courses, and when do I register for fall? 

Once a student confirms his/her participation in Step Ahead Math or Writing and reserves a seat through the Step Ahead Coordinator, the student will be eligible for registration. Student participants will then be pre-registered for their Step Ahead coursework by the Step Ahead Coordinator in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The Step Ahead Coordinator will contact student participants for registration. A "US" (Undergraduate Studies Advising) hold will be placed on the student record with notation of program participation.  This hold is used as an indicator of your program participation to other campus members. This hold will not prevent the student from registering for courses or viewing his/her academic transcript. The Undergraduate Studies Advisors will also register Step Ahead students for a coordinating General Education Course for the Fall 2016 semester (students maintain enrollment with the same faculty who teaches their summer course). Math students will be enrolled in a General Education Math Course. Writing students will be enrolled in ENC 1101 Composition I. Students will register for the rest of their Fall 2018 courses with the assistance of Undergraduate Studies Advising during the Advising Registration period on Day Two of Eagle View Orientation.

How much does the Step Ahead program cost? 

There are a few different costs associated with the Step Ahead program. Depending on a student’s housing situation (living at home, on-campus, or off-campus), the total cost for Step Ahead may vary.  Beginning in summer 2018, all students who complete a FAFSA will receive the Step Ahead Scholarship during the summer 2018 term, which is equivalent to six (6) credits' worth of tuition and fees (at the in-state rate).  Below is a list of common costs that a student may incur for the program:

  • Orientation Fee: $135.00
  • In-State Tuition: $1223.64 ($203.94 per credit, times 6 credits; based on FL Resident/Differential Tuition Rate)
  • Out-Of-State Tuition (non-FL): $5032.38 ($838.73 per credit, times 6 credits; based on non-FL Resident/Differential Tuition Rate)
  • ID Card Fee: $10.00
  • Housing-Summer Application Fee: $50.00
  • Housing-Summer 6-week Rate: $1100.00-1200.00 (rate subject to change and vary by room type)
  • Textbooks: $200.00 (cost is approximate)

Students will also be responsible for any dining plans and/or miscellaneous additional costs they incur during the Summer B 2018 term.

Is financial aid available for the summer term? 

Students seeking financial aid for the Summer 2017 term are required to complete a 2017-2018 FAFSA at Certain grants and loans may cover summer coursework, and student should consult with the Financial Aid office to check their eligibility. Students may be required to enroll in additional coursework in order to meet eligibility criteria.

 Do I have to live on-campus during the Step Ahead Program?

No, students are not required to live on-campus.  Many students do choose to live on-campus in South Village, our first-year residential community, but it is not required.  Some students live off-campus or commute during the summer term, and then choose to live on-campus for fall/spring.  This decision is up to you!  If you do decide to live on-campus, you should get your application(s) and fee(s) in to the Office of Housing and Residential Life ASAP so that a space can be held for you.  More information about Housing options is available on their website: