STEM Starter Academy

Questions & Answers

Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Any student is eligible to apply to participate in the STEM Starter Academy, if she/he
  • has (or will) graduate between 2014 and 2016;
  • is a U.S. citizen and a Massachusetts resident;
  • has submitted a STCC admissions application for Fall 2016 AND a STEM Starter Academy application;
  • has a GPA of 2.0 or above
  • Has parental/guardian permission, if under 18 years old
Q: What is the cost to participate in the STEM Starter Academy?
A: All classes are of no cost to you. Textbooks and supplies will be provided. The STEM Starter Academy will also provide each participant with daily lunches, as well as transportation to field trips. Students may want their own pocket money for miscellaneous purchases during field trips. Students will also receive a stipend at the end of the summer.
Q: How do I register for my classes? What do I need to do in order to register?
A: The STEM Starter Academy staff will actually register you for all your summer courses. However, you will need to make sure that you have completed all One Stop activities, including placement tests/assessments before June 17, 2016.
Q: What are the days and times of the summer program?
A: Our program runs Monday through Friday, beginning July 5th until August 12th. Monday through Thursday are when classes will take place. Classes run from 8:00am until 12:00pm. Students will earn credits for taking the courses (a math course and College Success Seminar). From 12:00pm to 12:30pm, we will have lunch. From 12:30pm until about 2:00pm, we will have study halls with our tutors. Fridays are designated for field trips and speakers. Those days will vary in length, depending on activities. For field trips, we expect that we will be off campus until about 3:00pm.
Q: Do I have to be at STEM Starter Academy summer bridge the whole time? Can I take days/weeks off?
A: You must be at the program for the duration of the program (Tuesday, July 5 through Friday, August 12, 2016). You will be on an accelerated schedule, covering material in six weeks that is usually covered in 15 weeks. Learning will be much quicker than typical. While we understand that you may have other legitimate commitments (e.g., family, work, other programs), taking off time is not advantageous.
Q: What classes will I take during summer bridge?
A: You will take one of three mathematics courses (Algebra I, Algebra II, or Technical Math I), depending on your performance on the Math placement test and the Math Review course during the first week of the program. You will also take College Success Seminar, a course where students learn about college.  This class also teaches students about time management, note taking, written and oral presentations, and other essential skills for college students. You will also have an experiential course with faculty who will give lectures and work with you on hands-on activities in different STEM areas. There will also be tutor-run study halls, field trips, and a speaker series, rounding out your time in the program.
Q: I already receive credit for the summer bridge course(s), or want to take other courses. Can I take another class?
A: At this time, students are not eligible to take other courses and participate in the program.
Q: Will my application give me an automatic spot in the program?
A: The application process for the STEM Starter Academy at Springfield Technical Community College is competitive. Not all applicants will be admitted into the program. Applicants will be notified no later than June 10, 2016 whether they have been accepted into the program.
Q: Are there activities during the academic year?
A: After students are accepted into the STEM Starter Academy for its summer program, those students continue to participate in the program throughout their time at STCC.  We continue to provide the students with tutoring and coaching services.  We have a study room designated for our STEM Starter Scholars.  We also have activities over the year for our students, like meetings, lunches, guest speakers, and field trips.