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STEM Starter Academy

  • STEM Starter Academy

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

  • STEM-focused recruitment strategies emphasizing the exciting opportunities in engineering, technology, computing & information technology, sciences & math.
  • Support & information sessions: Learn about our QCC Mentoring Program, GAA Tutoring Center, Math Center, Student Accessibility Services, counseling, resume assistance, transfer options, free summer transfer program @ state schools, QCC clubs & activities, etc.
  • Advising Support: Freshman are assigned to an Academic Advisor and second year+ students are assigned to a STEM Faculty Advisor.
  • QCC Mentoring Program with Gabe Santer at gsantner [at]
  • Summer Bridge Program in July. Freshman First Year Experience Course with a STEM focus. Contact Darcy Carlson: dcarlson [at]
  • Computer Orientation in August for incoming freshman. Learn all about the computer programs QCC has to offer. Meet the computer faculty. Contact Darcy Carlson: dcarlson [at]
  • Research & Internship Opportunities.
  • Industry Field Trips & STEM Workshops. 
  • MASS Teach Program.
  • 2-4 Year Transfer Program.

Explore Now

Need help deciding your major and future career?

Start by taking an assessment to determine your strengths, then browse through occupations compatible with your interests and assessment results. When a particular career appeals to you, you’re only a click away from discovering related academic programs at QCC.

STEM Starter Academy Q&A

STEM Starter Academy: Student Experience

MassTeach Program Q&A

General Studies - Pre-Pharmacy Option

Liberal Arts - Environmental Science


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...

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...

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...

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...

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...