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Steps to Leaps is a holistic program focusing on the core aspects of enhancing and improving student character and well-being. Grounded in the unique attributes represented by Generation Z, it provides students with tools, resources and support to build resiliency and tenacity for all aspects of their lives and establish lifelong habits to help them realize their personal definitions of success.

Steps to Leaps content areas, or pillars, are broad representations of life-skills that everybody can tap into and refine for themselves. Purdue has approached the model with the understanding that every Purdue student has enormous capacity and talent and, through engaging in the pillar topics and modules, can grow even more.

Steps to Leaps taps into the strengths and talents of the broad Purdue community. Faculty with research interests related to the five pillars are invited to join a research community focused on furthering our understanding of well-being and resilience. One of our goals, among many, is to lead the assessment of the key concepts that other universities can leverage, learn and eventually, utilize.

Enhance student success and build lifelong habits in areas such as self-advocacy, resiliency, network building, financial literacy and the growth mindset. 


Steps to Leaps is a theory-to-practice framework that strives to develop well-being and professional skills, helps students achieve and succeed academically, and provides for continued development in careers and post-graduate pursuits.


  • Steps to Leaps assumes all admitted students have the capacity to be successful in Purdue and beyond.
  • Steps to Leaps is a professional development approach recognizing that skills fostered in college can be built upon throughout a student’s lifetime.
  • Steps to Leaps builds upon Purdue many strengths including our curious faculty, creative staff and dedicated students (who are creating content for fellow students).
  • Steps to Leaps is designed to be deployed inside and outside of the classroom and bridges many existing programs and content. It is a community effort. 
  • Steps to Leaps will result in practices and strategies for professional staff and faculty/instructors who teach, coach, advise and mentor students.
  • Research and assessment will drive content creation and future program iterations.