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STEM Starter Academy

STEM Starter Academy (SSA) is a Massachusetts Department of Higher Education funded initiative that began in 2013 and continues at all 15 community college campuses across the state. The goal of SSA 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 program and/or enter the workforce.

STEM Starter Academy at MassBay has a particular focus on working with underserved students which includes:

  1. Expanding and diversifying the pipeline of students interested in STEM education and careers
  2. increasing retention, completion, graduation and transfer rates of STEM students by providing an educational environment that gives students the support and resources they need to persist and be successful in their studies
  3. Assisting STEM students with their educational and professional development so they are prepared to transfer to a four-year institution and/or enter the workforce with marketable skills in the STEM fields.

To achieve its goals, SSA offers many different programs and resources to its students including a dedicated STEM Academic Advisor and Career Development Counselor, opportunities to participate in the STEM Starter Academy Summer Bridge Program, STEM 4-Year Transfer Academy, the STEM Mentor Program, STEM Coaching Program and a variety of STEM Forums and Events that are held throughout the year. Students receive a bi-weekly STEM Student Newsletter and are enrolled in STEM News, a virtual STEM resource center. SSA also facilitates field trips to STEM companies and four-year transfer institutions and represents the STEM Division at STEM Fairs, Expos and other venues.

STEM Starter Academy Summer Program (SSASP) 2024


Summer 2024 STEM Starter Academy Summer Program

This two-week, FREE program is for new STEM students who will be enrolled at MassBay in a STEM Associate Degree program in the fall 2024 semester. SSASP provides 2 ½ hours of intensive math review daily, college success programming each day and an opportunity to meet STEM Division faculty and staff and other STEM students before beginning your studies in the fall.

You must speak with a member of the STEM Starter Academy staff before signing up for the program. Please see the flyer below and contact Valerie Kapilow, Program Director if you are interested in participating:

August 12th-23rd, Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm (virtual)
August 14th & August 20th, 3-5pm (on-campus)

Summer 2024 STEM Starter Academy Flyer →


STEM Starter Academy Video


STEM Starter Academy: Supporting Post-Community College Success

In this video: MassBay President Dr. David Podell; Sanoli (Luisa) Boucher, a MassBay Engineering student who transferred to Tufts University, received her BS in Civil Engineering and is a MS Candidate at Tufts in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering. Also featured is Rebecca Sendak, Ph.D. and Carlos Benitez, MS from Sanofi. Sanofi is a biotechnology company that partners with and provides funding for the STEM Mentor Program at MassBay.


STEM Mentor Program at MassBay

The goals of the STEM Mentor Program are to nurture STEM students’ academic success and support students’ pursuit of their academic and career aspirations by facilitating one-on-one mentoring relationships between MassBay STEM students and STEM professionals. Employer partnerships include Sanofi, MathWorks, ABI-LAB, Synspira Therapeutics and more. The program is funded by Sanofi, ABI-LAB, MathWorks, and STEM Starter Academy.

Learn more about MassBay’s STEM Mentor Program →For more information about the MassBay STEM Starter Academy or the STEM Mentor Program, please contact Project Director Valerie Kapilow at

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) programs provide you with the academic background and training you need to pursue a bachelor's degree, or to immediately launch a career in technology or science fields. STEM programs cover a wide-range of exciting areas such as mathematics and computer science, engineering technology, biotechnology, and life sciences. Our graduates have transferred to top bachelor of science programs at Boston University, Wellesley College, UMass Boston, and others, with many continuing to earn their advanced degrees.

Read The MassBay Stem Academy Viewbook →

Learn more about MassBay STEM degree and certificate programs →

Read the MassBay Course Offerings for courses in CH-Chemistry, CS-Computer Science, EE-Electrical Engineering, ET-Engineering and Technology, EV-Environmental Science, MN-Mechanical Engineering, PY-Physics, and SC-Science for the current semester.