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:
- Increased student awareness of and access to STEM programs of study and career opportunities,
- Enhanced student readiness for and recruiting into STEM pathway programs,
- Improved student retention based on academic success and overcoming "life barriers," and
- Increased completion through award of certificates or degrees and pathways to STEM jobs or transfer to higher level STEM academic programs.
Colin WIlson, Director, Berkshire Science Commons and STEM Starter Academy, Berkshire Community