STEM Starter Academy

STEM is an educational program developed to educate students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Learn more about STEM programs and careers.

What is STEM Starter Academy?

STEM Starter Academy is an exciting statewide Massachusetts Community College Initiative funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education that is designed to promote STEM fields of study. The Academy provides an amazing opportunity for promising incoming college students to explore cutting-edge careers, gain college classroom experience, and focus on important success skills in a supportive environment.

Many campuses have implemented elements of a framework to inform, recruit, retain and graduate more students in STEM programs. However, the STEM Starter Academy (SSA) will help to address gaps, promote alignment and build capacity to meet unaddressed student needs and to refine the model of articulated student support services and structured STEM curriculum that will promote:

  1. Increased student awareness of and access to STEM programs of study and career opportunities,
  2. Enhanced student readiness for and recruiting into STEM pathway programs,
  3. Improved student retention based on academic success and overcoming “life barriers,” and
  4. Increased completion through award of certificates or degrees and pathways to STEM jobs or transfer to higher level STEM academic programs.

The STEM Starter Academy at BCC

The BCC STEM Starter Academy Program is geared toward incoming freshman interested in high-demand careers in a variety of STEM fields. Each cohort of STEM Scholars will gain transition-to-college skills and develop college success strategies that will give them the tools they need to be STEM-ready in college and in the workplace.

Learn more about the two STEM Starter Academy programs at Berkshire Community College:

  • Summer Success Program
  • Fall Support Program 


Student Interviews

BCC STEM Starter Academy student (and independent filmmaker) Johannes Nightingale produced the following video featuring fellow STEM Starter Academy students in 2017. (The interviews took place during BCC's Day of the Dead celebration, and several students are in costume.)

Access Higher ED

In 2016, BCC's Access Higher Ed dedicated an episode to the STEM Starter Academy at BCC. Guests included STEM Starter Academy students, and the program's coordinator, Connie West.