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About Us

Step 2 the U is an early college high school program created to introduce students to higher education courses in a small learning community cohort setting. These courses are designed and organized into a schedule thematically built around self-exploration and education advancement. This integrated learning model is inventive and cutting edge for education. Through collaboration between the University of Utah Undergraduate Studies and Canyons School District, Step 2 the U is offered to Alta High School juniors interested in perusing their higher education at the University of Utah. 

With Step 2 the U, you will:

  • Opportunity to take university level classes from university professors and instructors

  • Be part of a small learning community cohort setting

  • Opportunity to network and conduct research on campus 

  • Earn 30 semester university credits and 3 full high school credits 

  • Save approximately $15,000 - $20,000 in tuition and other associated college fees 

  • Graduate from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2 ½ years

Explore Our Classes

Step 2 the U prides itself on a thematically built schedule designed around self-exploration and education advancement. For two summer semesters starting the summer between their junior  and senior years, students register for a specific schedule. 

This is an introductory studio course where non-art major students will create visual art in both two- and three- dimensional media. Rather than being focused on a specific technique or artistic medium, this class introduces art techniques, concepts, and methods through a response to the physical materials used. This approach results in a wide-range exploration that includes traditional art materials and techniques such as ink, pencil, charcoal, paint, printmaking, paper, wood, and wire, as well as newer more contemporary genres related to installation and new media. It will also introduce the use of found materials such as books, natural objects, and discarded items that can be incorporated into mixed-media assemblages. The conceptual focus is on building the ability to communicate ideas, themes, and personal experiences using the language of visual art. 

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Fine Art (FF) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

This is an introduction to the formal study of argumentation. It is designed to help student be more sensitive to the arguments that surround them in their everyday life, to develop greater skill in understanding and critically assessing those arguments, and to build competence in producing your own arguments. To achieve these goals, the course is structured to teach argumentation skills, experiences, and abilities by engaging in public arguments about pressing political, social and legal issues.   

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Humanities (HF) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

Introduction to analysis of public communication (speeches, editorials, advertisements, TV, film, etc.) from a variety of critical perspectives. 

Political, economic, and social development of American institutions and ideas. Satisfies the American Institutions requirement. 

This course provides students with an introduction to the scientific endeavor as both a body of knowledge and as a process. The course distinguishes scientific inquiry as a unique way of knowing that employs a specific set of norms and practices. Students will perform simple scientific inquiries to explore foundational principles, as well as engage in their own open-ended discovery activities. Explorations will be carried out within the context of their historical development; for example, students will investigate the basics of pendulum motion while learning how Galileo’s work on pendula revolutionized navigation. Students will also grapple with ethical scientific dilemmas and explore how science interacts with society. Students will communicate their findings through writing, discussion, and oral and poster presentations. This course is intended to provide a foundation for non-science. 

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Physical/Life Science (SF) or Applied Science (AS) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

This course is designed for students to challenge and expand their personal and collective beliefs about identity. Students are asked to critically think about their own and others’ racialized and gendered social experiences, particularly as they relate to educational journeys. Together they will challenge traditional views on educations, as well as question social normativity as it relates to race, gender, class, age, immigration status, physical ability and self-identified identity. Students will learn many social theories including to various forms of social capital, race, inequity, ethnicity, gender, and feminism. They will expand their knowledge of qualitative research to collaboratively co-create class projects to bring about awareness of the various realities of identity and intersectionality in society. 

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Behavioral/Social Science (BF) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of current US social problems and how to utilize a sociological perspective in understanding those problems. In this course students will be exposed to an overview of social and behavioral science theories that are currently used to challenge and expand our personal and collective attitudes, values and experiences with identity, and critically think about our own and others’ racialized and gendered social experiences and question social normativity as it relates to race, gender, class, age, immigration status, physical ability and self-identified identity. 

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Behavioral/Social Science (BF) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

This course is designed to provide students with the foundational practices and capabilities needed to read and write academic arguments proficiently. Though our focus is on setting you up to be a successful writer in your university courses, the writing practices and capabilities you learn in this class have application outside of the university. Students are introduced to strategies, tools, and resources necessary to become successful writers in a range of scholarly and professional contexts. They will practice analytic, persuasive, and narrative writing in a number of genres and explore how to do research papers. This class is meant to make students feel more comfortable with their own voice and better able to use that voice for the rest of their college career. Students will also spend time working on the structure of writing: ways to organize, how to build sentences, and how to write a polished academic paper. Learning how to write strong sentences, and well-organized paragraphs, learning how to collaborate, and learning how to write in and with new technologies, learning how to research a problem, learning how to contribute a view point to an ongoing conversation – all of these are behaviors and skills that are required to succeed in most workplaces. 

Upon completion of this course, students will earn 3 credit hours and a Lower Division Writing (WR2) credit towards University of Utah General Education requirements. For more information about University of Utah General Education requirements, visit https://us.utah.edu/general-education/requirements/. 

A Team Dedicated to You

When you join the Step 2 the U program, you are surrounded with faculty, peer advisors and staff devoted to enhancing student learning at the University of Utah. In addition to their primary positions at the university, these individuals take an active role in the learning community initiative by serving on committees, conducting research, collaborating with departments outside of learning communities, and establishing connections between faculty and students at the university.

Our Partners & Resources

When students join Step 2 the U, they join a community made up of multiple resources dedicated to their success at the University of Utah. From academic advising, library resources to career planning, Step 2 the U has amazing campus partners that are intertwined with our Step 2 the U learning communities and programs.

Last Updated: 7/7/22