STEPS: Students Taking an Early Pathway to Success

  • Senior Year at Passaic County Community College (PCCC)

    STEPS is an educational alternative for up to ten students from the Paterson Public Schools. Paterson Public Schools has partnered with Passaic County Community College to provide approximately 10 juniors an opportunity to complete their senior year on campus at PCCC while obtaining college credits.

    All tuition and fees will be paid for by the district.

    Program flyer

    Participant Profile

    Current juniors who will have completed History, Science & Math requirements by the end of their junior year.


    • The STEPS program will feature a close partnership between Paterson Public Schools and PCCC.
    • Students will complete their high school English Language Arts requirement and Physical Education requirement at PCCC while accumulating college credits.
    • Students will still be allowed to participate in High School Sports and all senior year activities, such as Prom, Graduation, etc.
    • Students will follow a PCCC schedule.
    • Mentors from PCCC and from Paterson Public Schools will be assigned to meet with the students.
    • Guidance Counselors will continue to meet with the students.
    • The students will meet as a cohort two times during the year. (December and May)


    S.T.E.P.S Timeline Overview- Reference Only.


    Applications for STEPS will be reviewed using multiple measures that will include consideration of the following:
    • ˃460 Reading Writing on PSAT (College Readiness Benchmark for 11th grade)
    • ˃510 Math on PSAT (College Readiness Benchmark for 11th grade)
    • Algebra I NJSLA Scores
    • Geometry NJSLA Scores < br/>• Grade 10 ELA NJSLA Scores
    • GPA 3.0 or Better (unweighted)
    • Teacher Recommendations/Teacher Evaluation Form
    • Essay
    • Attendance
    • Extra-Curricular Activities/Community Service

Dual Enrollment Program

  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, dual enrollment is defined as "...students enroll in postsecondary coursework while also enrolled in high school..." in other words, it is when high school students (usually juniors and seniors) earn college credits while enrolled in separate courses that are not part of their high school curriculum.

    Paterson Public Schools has established partnerships with the following post-secondary institutions:
    • Passaic County Community College
    • Fairleigh Dickinson University
    • Rutgers University
    • William Paterson University

    Dual Enrollment opportunities are also available for English Learners to take college courses and accumulate college credits from William Paterson University. Students in Grades 11-12 enrolled in the following 2 courses are eligible to earn 3 college credits per course.

    WPU Course/Credits
    ESL 3100 Advanced ESL Reading - 3 credits
    ESL 3110 Advanced ESL Writing - 3 credits