The RPI STEP program is funded by the New York State Department of Education. It is designed to assist disadvantaged secondary students and those from minority groups under-represented in scientific, technical and health-related professions to acquire the skills, attitudes and abilities to pursue professional or pre-professional study in postsecondary degree programs in scientific, technical and health-related fields. The program's initiatives focus on developing problem solving and critical thinking skills through a range of enrichment activities that include student development, leadership opportunities, career exploration, college preparation, internships, and parent workshops. Rensselaer activities occur after school and Saturdays during the school year, and in the summer. RPI supports students entering grades 7 through 12 attending its partner schools listed below, as well as students who live in neighboring communities as space permits.
- Doyle Middle School & Troy High School
- Knickerbacker Middle School & Lansingburgh High School
- Catholic Central High School
- LaSalle Institute
On the 20th Anniversary of the Science & Technology Entry Program in 2007, the New York State Department of Education gave Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition of its commitment, dedication, vision and leadership for its Charter Program preparing scholars to become future professionals in the Scientific, Technical and Pre-licensure fields.