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STEM Starter Academy

QCC Students present at UMASS Amherst Undergraduate Research Conference on April 28, 2017

STEM Starter Academy (SSA) is a is a state-funded initiative to support community college efforts at all fifteen campuses to inform, engage, recruit, retain, and graduate significantly more students in STEM. The primary goal is to graduate more community students with STEM degrees and certificates so they can either enter the work force or transfer to a four-year institution. The secondary goal is to recruit more students into the STEM pipeline at the community colleges.

Key highlights from the first two years of the STEM Start Academy program across the campuses include:

  • More than 10,000 students have directly participated in SSA programs and another 20,000 have participated in recruited events and information sessions in the last two years.
  • SSA population reflex the overall demographics of the community college (12% African-American, 14% Latino, 51% Female).
  • SSA students are more likely (13% to enroll full-time compared to generally community college students).
  • 75% of SSA who completed developmental math this past summer enrolled in college level math in the Fall.
  • 70% of SSA degrees are earned in STEM.

SSA Events at QCC

  • STEM-focused recruitment strategies designed to debunk misconceptions and emphasize the exciting opportunities in engineering, technology, computing & information technology, sciences & math.
  • STEM-focused campus visits and events for prospective students, guidance counselors, teachers, families and community-based career counselors.
  • STEM Exploration Day: High school students experience a variety of STEM workshops on campus. 
  • Manufacturing Day. 
  • STEM field trips: Boston Science Museum, IPG, AbbVie, UMASS Lowell, UMASS Amherst, United Lens.
  • Enhanced STEM academic, career, and transfer advising to guide students in choosing the right career and academic pathway.
  • QCC Launched STEM College & Career Fair.
  • Undergraduate Research Conference at UMASS Amherst

QuEST Center at QCC
QuEST Center at QCC

STEM classes in the QuEST Center