Our Goal-Oriented Motivations

LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) and Queens College (QC) share a commitment to enhancing and integrating high impact practices, through our work with the Q-STEM initiative. This initiative aims to advance three major tasks that are designed to create well-defined pathways for students to transfer and earn degrees in STEM fields. Through collaborative efforts, LaGCC and QC seek to improve existing practices and provide students with enhanced opportunities for success in STEM education and careers.

Expand access with targeted advisement for dual enrollment students.

Accelerate progress with proven High Impact Practices and more accessible course content.

Improve transfer effectiveness through a dual admission partnership with LaGuardia Community College.

Project Design

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Goal 1: The STEM Ladder

Goal 2: STEM Learning

Goal 3: The STEM Link

Activity 1: Active Persistence with Recruitment

(LaGuardia Community College Initiative).

LaGuardia’s College Now program has been facilitating the college transition for high school students since 1984. With a wide network of feeder high schools and ties with CUNY’s College Now program, LaGuardia aims to highlight STEM opportunities for incoming College Now alumni. LaGuardia has key resources to use in this effort to support effective college transition for Hispanic and low-income STEM-intending students. LaGuardia is committed to supporting College Now and other dual enrollment alumni through STEM awareness events and pre-term advisement, with the goal of helping them progress towards enrollment.


Activity 2: Facilitate a New Student Orientation

(LaGuardia Community College Initiative).

The new student orientation at LaGuardia Community College includes various activities to support STEM-intending students. By providing targeted support and advisement through the new student orientation, LaGuardia Community College aims to promote STEM enrollment and success among underrepresented students, ultimately helping them achieve their academic and career goals in STEM fields.

The goal of these activities is to increase STEM enrollment by 10%.

Activity 1: Implement STEM Learning Communities

(Joint Initiative) 

]The Q-STEM Academy will implement program-specific Learning Communities to help STEM students stay on track on their respective tracks. By creating cohorts of students interested in Environmental Science and Geology, Computer Science, and Biology respectively, we can encourage students that share specific academic/career interests to participate in collaborative learning that increases knowledge acquisition and fosters a sense of community among peers. These cohorts will provide opportunities for students to engage in joint projects, discussions, and activities that promote a deeper understanding of their chosen fields and encourage mutual support and mentorship.

Activity 2: Develop Accessible Curricula and Material

(Joint Initiative) 

Open Educational Resources (OER) and accessible curricula will provide significant benefits to students in STEM classes. Firstly, they can help reduce financial barriers by providing free or low-cost learning materials, making STEM education more accessible to all students regardless of their economic background. Secondly, OER and accessible curricula offer flexibility, allowing instructors to customize content to meet the diverse needs and learning styles of students. This promotes personalized and inclusive learning experiences, accommodating different abilities, and interests. Additionally, we can provide students with access to current and relevant content, keeping them up-to-date with the latest research and developments in STEM fields. Lastly, OER and accessible curricula promote collaboration, as they can be easily shared and adapted, encouraging students to work together, share ideas, and engage in collaborative learning experiences.

Activity 3: Implement a Summer STEM Academy

(Joint Initiative) 

The Q-STEM Summer Academy aims to address college attrition among STEM students by implementing a program based on the research on summer learning loss. Drawing from successful models such as CUNY’s dual enrollment high school summer program, the Summer Academy will launch in 2022 and offer a Queens College STEM course co-facilitated by LaGuardia and Queens College faculty, along with a paid community research opportunity. The foundational course for the Summer Academy will be a six-week Queens College Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, or Advanced Programming C++ course, co-taught by faculty members from both institutions. The course will align with students’ degree plans and have no tuition attached, following existing full-time student policies.

Queens College will be offering a few days of workshop-based activities aimed at supporting student success in STEM fields. These workshops are designed to provide students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that reinforce their classroom learning and help them develop critical skills needed for success in STEM careers. The workshops are typically facilitated by experienced faculty members and industry professionals, who provide expert guidance and mentorship to the students.

Activity 4: Provide Summer Research Experiences

(Joint Initiative) 

LaGuardia Community College and Queens College will offer paid summer research experiences for Q-STEM students. These research opportunities provide students with hands-on, immersive experiences in cutting-edge STEM research projects, allowing them to work closely with faculty members, researchers, and industry professionals. Students engage in real-world research activities, such as data analysis, laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and scientific investigations, gaining valuable skills and insights into the research process.  These summer research experiences are typically structured as internships or fellowships, with students receiving a stipend or financial compensation for their work. This enables students to focus on their research projects without financial burdens and helps to promote equitable access to research opportunities for all Q-STEM students, including those from low-income backgrounds. 

The paid summer research experiences are designed to provide students with opportunities to apply their classroom learning to real-world problems, enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, develop their research and communication abilities, and build professional networks. These experiences also serve as a pathway for students to explore potential career paths in STEM fields and gain a competitive edge when applying for further studies or job opportunities in the STEM workforce.

Activity 1: Create Dual Degree Articulation Agreements

(Joint Initiative) 

LaGuardia Community College and Queens College will be establishing articulation agreements in the fields of biology, environmental science and geology, and computer science. These agreements facilitate seamless transfer pathways for students pursuing these disciplines, allowing them to transfer credits earned at LaGuardia Community College towards their bachelor’s degree at Queens College. These articulation agreements promote educational continuity, help students save time and money, and support their academic and career goals in STEM fields.

Activity 2: Scaffold Transfer Advisement through Virtual Interest Groups (VIGs)

(Joint Initiative) 

LaGuardia Community College and Queens College have established Scaffold Transfer Advisement through Virtual Interest Groups (VIGs) to support the transfer process for STEM students. VIGs provide a virtual platform for students to connect with peer advisors from STEM programs, engage in collaborative learning, and receive guidance on the transfer process. These VIGs offer a supportive and structured environment for students to navigate the transfer process and make informed decisions about their academic and career pathways in STEM fields.

Activity 3: Provide Transfer Support with Transfer Peer Mentors

(Joint Initiative) 

Both campuses will provide transfer support through Transfer Peer Mentors. These mentors, who are experienced students, offer guidance, advice, and support to help fellow students navigate the transfer process successfully. Through one-on-one mentoring, transfer peer mentors provide valuable insights, resources, and support to help students make informed decisions about their transfer options and successfully transfer into Queens College to pursue their STEM goals.

Activity 4: Organize a Cross-Campus Faculty & Staff Exchange

(Joint Initiative) 

Both campuses will organize a cross-campus faculty and staff exchange program. This program allows faculty and staff from both institutions to participate in professional development opportunities, exchange ideas, and collaborate on initiatives related to STEM education. By fostering cross-campus collaboration and knowledge sharing, the program aims to enhance teaching and learning in STEM fields and promote innovation in STEM education at both institutions.

Institutional Context

We are referring to the background, history, and mission of each college specifically in relation to the Q-STEM/Grant Initiative.

LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) is a Hispanic-serving institution that aims to provide accessible and affordable education to a diverse student population. The college is committed to promoting social justice, civic engagement, and community service through its academic programs, research initiatives, and student services. LaGuardia is dedicated to preparing its students to become informed and engaged citizens who can contribute to society and thrive in the workforce. The college’s mission is guided by a set of core values that emphasize innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, and excellence in teaching and learning.

LaGuardia’s efforts have been successful in doubling its three-year graduation rates since 2008 and earning a top-five ranking of community colleges in the nation for moving low-income students into the middle class. However, the college still faces challenges in improving the graduation rates, particularly for STEM majors, and reducing the dropout rates. Despite these challenges, LaGuardia remains committed to improving learning outcomes and providing quality education to its diverse student population. With an intention to increase graduation rates for STEM Majors, LaGCC has partnered with Queens College (QC) to create a seamless pathway for these students to attain a Bachelor’s degree in their STEM major of choice.

Queens College (QC) aims to provide an affordable and high-quality education to the local community through its rigorous undergraduate curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences. The college’s faculty are dedicated to teaching and research, and they engage with regional intellectual, artistic, education, and business communities. Due to its academic excellence, urban location, and affordable tuition, Queens College is regularly recognized as one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Queens College has a diverse undergraduate population of students with 30% identifying as Hispanic and a third identifying as having been born outside the U.S. Additionally, more than 20% of students at QC are pursuing STEM majors; and, transfer students account for 43% of the bachelor’s-seeking student population at Queens College.

The collaboration between both LaGCC and QC will serve as a direct pipeline into bachelor’s programs at QC, which is already a popular transfer destination for LaGuardia’s students majoring in STEM disciplines.

Articulation Agreements

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