Quinsigamond Community College is part of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts that were selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to receive a $20 million grant, known as the Guided Pathways to Success in STEM (GPSTEM) Grant. The grant is enabling the community colleges to collectively work on addressing the training and educational needs of workers and employers statewide, focusing on joint pathways to careers in high-growth STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math) sectors. The initiative is being led by Massasoit Community College.
On February 12, the college received its progress report on how it is proceeding with its strategies. Areas of strength and progress included:
- QCC’s STEM enrollment has risen by nearly 26 percent.
- All academic programs have been sorted into eight areas of study.
- The Admission’s Office has published streamlined program booklets for each area of study that contain academic maps and career pathways.
- QCC has embedded advisors into departments to assist students in choosing a major, with career exploration as a primary focus.
- Math pathways have been aligned with majors depending on whether a student is choosing a STEM, non-STEM, or Education degree.
- Math classes have been accelerated, allowing students to take a developmental course and a credit-bearing course in the same semester.
- The CSET program is experiencing positive changes. The program now offers students a virtual lab that students can access from home.
The GPSTEM model is geared toward reducing the time it takes for students to complete certificate and degree programs and enter the workforce.