Our History

In 1996, in response to the decline of freshman engineering enrollment among minority students, NASA funded the Proyecto Access New York Pre-Freshman Engineering program (NYPREP). The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) developed the project in conjunction with eight institutions of higher learning.

Now operating in nine cities, the program recruits high achieving middle and high school students and enrolls them in a rigorous summer curriculum of pre-engineering, problem solving, logic, computer science, algebraic structures, physics and internet technologies.

The program is designed to identify social and economically disadvantaged middle and high school students with the potential to become scientists or engineers and provide them with academic enrichment and reinforcement in the pursuit of these fields.

The STEP/Proyecto Access Program is an academically intense, seven-week, summer program that stresses the development of abstract reasoning and problem solving skills. It provides a rigorous, engaging, high quality education for all its participants.

It places particular emphasis on learner-centered instruction, technology uses in classroom instruction, and preparation of students for the transition from school to the high technology workplace.

The STEP/Proyecto Access Program encourages the participation of achieving women and minority students so that they will continue through college graduation with majors in science, engineering, and other mathematics-based disciplines.

The Hostos STEP/ Proyecto Access program was funded by NASA in the summer of 1997 to serve 50 underrepresented, high achieving, low-income secondary school students who had an interest in learning and/or pursuing a career in engineering, mathematics, technology, and/or science.

Three years later, the New York State Education department provided the STEP/ Proyecto Access program with funds to expand its curriculum offerings, add an additional semester, and serve 200 additional students.

Currently, the STEP/ Proyecto Access program offers courses in Logic and its application to mathematics, introduction to engineering, introduction to computer science, physics, algebraic structures, technical writing, probability and statistics, science enrichment courses, SSAT and SAT workshops, MATH A preparatory classes and problem solving.

Furthermore, the STEP/ Proyecto Access program offers career awareness presentations, academic and career counseling, and educational trips to local and national science related industries. We are very proud of the work done by all of our students.


Our annual surveys show that all of our college eligible students are currently enrolled in college and a substantial number of those students are enrolled in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Our secondary school students are performing academically above their peers, especially in mathematics courses and standardized math exams.

During the regular academic year and summers, several of our former students attend partner pre-college programs. We thank you for your interest in learning about our program and we encourage you to view our entire web site. Please feel free to contact us for any questions or comments regarding the STEP/ Proyecto Access program.