Preparing You For Success in STEM

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RCC_STEMRoxbury Community College is committed to equipping our students with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. We are also committed to providing all students with a solid foundation in math and science, regardless of career preferences. RCC provides a variety of STEM support programs and extracurricular activities. These initiatives are funded in part by STEM Starter Grant funds.

NROC and Math Booth Camp

Roxbury Community College is an institutional member of the NROC Project. The NROC Project (National Repository of Online Courses) is a national non-profit impacting college and career readiness. As an institutional member, Roxbury Community College has access to a customized version of EdReady, also powered by NROC, with personalized math study options. EdReady has access to the NROC digital content but is also integrated with a personalized math skills assessment tool that creates a study path based on an individual student’s needs. After creating an account and taking a one hour assessment, an online study path is created with math lessons addressing the specific math topics to master for each student. The program is self-paced and an RCC staff member monitors the progress of each student who participates.

Stem_DSC_0129-2Currently at RCC, EdReady is being used as a resource for incoming students who want to prepare for the Math Accuplacer placement test. Some students find that they need a refresher before taking the placement test and find that they have more confidence in their math abilities after reviewing the EdReady modules. It is suggested that students give themselves at least a month to review and prepare for the math placement test. Even after a student has been placed in the assigned level of math, a student can continue to practice math concepts using the EdReady or HippoCampus learning modules when taking math classes. An on-ground summer Math Boot Camp was piloted last summer for incoming students and supported new students who needed a math refresher for the Accuplacer exam. For more information about the NROC materials at RCC, contact Joyce Atkinson, Coordinator of Learning Resources, at jatkinson@rcc.mass.edu.

Developmental Education for Math @ RCC

In Spring 2016, RCC will launch a developmental math program and a developmental science program to help students successfully complete their math and science requirements.

The developmental math program is based on a program that has been successfully piloted at community colleges nationwide. Through this program, students who place into developmental math courses (MAT 087 – Basic Math with MyMathLab, MAT 088 – Introduction to Algebra with MyMathLab or MAT 099 – Intermediate Algebra with MyMathLab) will be able to complete these courses while simultaneously completing courses that count towards an associate’s degree, either Statistics or Pre-Calculus. This pilot program will achieve two very important goals:

  • it will allow students to maximize their time at RCC—participants will be able to either take more electives, or to graduate sooner.
  • it will prepare those students who are interested in a career in Math, but who do not possess the necessary skills or knowledge, to build a strong foundation for success.

The pilot Statistics program will be taught by John McColgan, Professor of Math. The pilot Pre-Calculus program will be taught by Javad Moulai, Professor of Math, Science and Engineering.

RCC_7588The developmental science program is the first of its kind. RCC is one of two MA community colleges with a science placement test that incoming students must take to place into college-level science courses. Through the developmental science program, students who do not place into college-level science can take Biology I (SCI 103) concurrently with General Science (SCI 099), RCC’s foundational science course. Students in this pilot program will receive 2 hours of tutoring from Professor Sucher, who teaches Bio I, before class each week, in order to ensure that they are understanding all of the subject material. Through this pilot program, RCC aims to provide students with an interest in science with the foundation needed for long-term success in this competitive and important field.

RCC Chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club (ASBMB)

This fall, Roxbury Community College established a chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club (ASBMB). RCC students who are members of this club receive scientific mailings and opportunities to meet fellow students and scientists to form relationships and network. The club has regular meetings, where members discuss scientific discoveries and go on field trips. Prior to the club officially forming, members of RCC’s Science Club joined Professor Kristen Laird and Professor Kimberley Stieglitz at Northeastern University’s ASBMB, where Professor Stieglitz presented work performed by several RCC students in SCI 207 and SCI 281.

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