STEM ED Talk: The Holyoke Community College STEM Scholars Program
April 16, 2019
UMass Amherst Campus
Ileana Vasu, Mathematics, Holyoke Community College
The Holyoke Community College (HCC) STEM Scholars Program has as its goals to recruit, retain, and encourage academically talented, financially needy, and underrepresented STEM students to complete their degrees, and continue their education. Students are recruited from the targeted disciplines of engineering, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Scholars act as ambassadors in college access activities, as well as champions for new Scholars, including providing outreach or mentoring to local high-schools. Students in the program are enrolled in the STEM Scholar Seminar which includes readings about the nature and philosophy of STEM, speakers and field trips, diversity training, and opportunities to work on and present projects. Aside from the Seminar, our Scholars are expected to engage in three other activities that have been shown to be successful for retaining students in STEM: early research, mentoring and community service. The HCC STEM Scholars program has persistence, graduation, and transfer rates that far exceed those of their STEM peers and ultimately informs overall higher education practices towards underrepresented students in STEM. The presentation will outline the program, practices and emergent findings from the first iteration of the grant. It will also include the opportunity for participants to brainstorm on articulating practices or ideas that arise from successful S-STEM grants. We invite STEM faculty and educators from both higher education and K-12 to join us.