About the Collaborative on Early Adolescence (CEA)

 STEP - Social Transitions for Education Program


David Valentiner
815 753-7086
Psychology/Computer Science 422
Lab Webpage: davidvalentiner.weebly.com

The Social Transitions in Education Program (STEP) is designed to help students as they begin at a new school, primarily by helping students feel more comfortable with new social situations and expectations. A pilot evaluation of STEP showed promising results with students experiencing substantial decreases in social avoidance following participation and increases in grade point averages one year later. A study completed using brief intensive treatment for social anxiety compares the results of applying Social Anxiety Intervention and Relaxation Control Treatment to a group of freshmen in the fall of their first semester of college. 

STEP is currently implemented at NIU in the fall semester. Incoming freshmen are invited to complete a brief survey. To the degree that resources are available, students who are eligible are then invited to participate in a six session program.

STEP at NIU is directed by Dr. Valentiner with support and cooperation from the Psychological Services Center (PSC), the Department of Psychology, and the Office of the Provost.

School administrators or others interested in using STEP or being trained in STEP are encouraged to contact Dr. Valentiner.

Dr. Valentiner is also looking for partners - particularly middle schools and high schools - to pursue grant funding in support of a complete study of STEP.