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STEM Starter Academy

  • QCC student in manufacturing lab

To learn more about Manufacturing Month's events, visit the calendar

The STEM Starter Academy (SSA) program is an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) that began in 2013 through the leadership of Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and support from the Massachusetts Legislature. In partnership with the Commonwealth’s community college system, the purpose of STEM Starter Academy is to recruit, ready, retain and graduate a diverse body of students earning STEM certificates and degrees who go on to transfer to a 4-year STEM programs and/or enter the workforce.

The Importance of STEM in Massachusetts 

Jobs that require a strong foundation in STEM education are increasing in number, expanding into new fields and transforming traditional careers. Massachusetts needs a robust, diverse and growing STEM workforce to sustain our economy and advance the Commonwealth’s reputation for innovation, globally

STEM Starter Academy at QCC: 2020-2021

  • STEM-focused recruitment strategies emphasizing the exciting opportunities in engineering, technology, computing & information technology, sciences & math.
  • Online support & information sessions. Mentoring, tutoring, student accessibility services, counseling, internship opportunities, resume assistance, transfer, etc.
  • Virtual STEM Week/Manufacturing Month October 19-31. Visit the calendar.
  • Academic STEM & Career advising to guide students in choosing the right career and academic pathway. Contact Jane Lesniewski; jlesniewski [at] qcc.mass.edu
  • QCC Mentoring Program with Gabe Santer: gsantner [at] qcc.mass.edu
  • Summer Bridge Program in July. Freshman First Year Experience Course with a STEM focus. Incoming freshman in a STEM program.
  • Computer Orientation in August for incoming freshman in a computer program. 

STEM News

The Commonwealth's 2020 STEM Week theme is "See Yourself in STEM."

Envision Yourself in STEM During Massachusetts’ STEM Week

October brings autumn pleasures – crisp air, colorful leaves and pumpkin spiced treats. October is also when STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) becomes the focus for engagement throughout the Commonwealth. And October is also national Manufacturing Month – a great overlap with STEM Week, as Manufacturing is a STEM discipline. There are lots of activities to participate in for people of all...

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New college students show empowering messages in a zoom meeting during QCC's Summer Bridge Program.

New STEM Students Zoom into QCC Via Summer Bridge Program

A group of incoming QCC students zoomed through a summer program designed to prepare them for a fast start when their classes begin in September. The accelerated “Summer Bridge” program was designed for students pursuing STEM majors and was organized under QCC’s STEM Starter Academy (SSA) program. Students met remotely via Zoom each day for three weeks.

According to SSA program coordinator...

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Chemistry lab support technician Maikeal Gwargious helps a student in Chemistry Professor Dilip Patel's class.

Peer-to-Peer Learning Delivers Big Dividends for All

At QCC all it takes are two simple words – STUDENT SUCCESS. One way in which the college is supporting its students in succeeding is through student lab support technicians. Earlier this year several QCC students became lab support technicians in the college’s biology and chemistry labs thanks to funding from the “Increasing Diversity in STEM” grant award, which the college received...

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From left: Zach Berridge and Chris Tousignant

CIS Grads Hooked by Wakefly Digital Marketing

Two talented QCC students who secured internships due to QCC’s Tech Apprentice program reeled in full-time employment with Wakefly, a digital marketing company located in Marlborough. The students were attracted to Wakefly through QCC’s Tech Apprentice program, a partnership between QCC’s Office of Career Services and faculty in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program. This program prepares...

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QCC student Brandon Won showcases Fab Lab creations at the TouchTomorrow event.

Showing Tomorrow’s Adults the Excitement of Today's Science and Technology

QCC students Brandon Won, Joyeuse Uwamahoro, Anthony Le, Alex Reno, along with Associate Professor of Electronics Engineering Technology Jacob Longacre and Professor of Computer Science Hao Loi participated in TouchTomorrow, a science, technology and robotics festival held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Mr. Won demonstrated and discussed...

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Fatima Mohammed

STEM Students of the Month – May

Each month, the professors in QCC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs recognize and acknowledge the perseverance of one student in their perspective STEM areas. Below is the third group of STEM Students of the Month with a few comments from the professors who nominated them. They include:

Science - Shayne Barton, nominated by Professor of Integrated Science...

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Gateway to College Students with Fab Lab Manager Bryan DeConte (blue shirt)

Gateway to College Students Work on Fabricating their Future

Collaboration and partnerships both on and off campus are an important part of the educational process in the Gateway to College Program, according to Gateway to College Manager Marci Skillings.This is why classes such as the Introduction to Fab Lab Science are so vital. Recently 16 Gateway to College students completed the course, which was funded through a grant from the Stem...

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QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja addresses scholarship recipients.

Scholarship Recipients Acknowledged at Reception

A reception was held on April 22 to recognize 20 QCC students who each received a $1,000 scholarship this spring to support their studies in STEM programs. These scholarships were made possible through funding received from two state agencies: the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, which sponsored students through the Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium; and the Massachusetts...

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CSET Students and instructor

CSET Student Orientation Yields Big Win For CSET Students

Last summer a group of Computer Systems Engineering Technology (CSET) students went through a new student orientation to learn the ins and outs of college life at QCC; toured the campus and visited the labs; learned how to use the applications that will be a part of their curriculum, and discussed the different degree options. The two-day orientation was funded by a STEM Starter Academy Grant and those students who...

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QCC STEM students looking to transfer to a 4-year institution can take advantage of the summer transfer bridge program.

STEM Summer Transfer Bridge Programs Announced

A new program designed to support Massachusetts community college students in making a successful transition into public 4-year universities as transfer students is launching this summer, as part of the STEM Starter Academy. Students transferring from one of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts to a state college or university in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, can apply to a...

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