There will be no Covid testing at HCC on Saturday, January 29 due to the forecasted snowstorm.   Important Covid-19 vaccination policy update

Courses & Programs

Melissa Paciulli

Director of the STEM Starter Academy

Science, Tech, Engineering & Math

Marieb 141

413.552.2720 (Tel)

STEM Starter Academy

Are you interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Want to know more about STEM disciplines, studies, and careers? Want to join a community of students, staff and faculty that are excited about STEM?

Join the FREE STEM Starter Academy!  


In 2014, HCC and other community colleges received a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to establish the STEM Starter Academy (SSA) at each of the 15 community colleges across the state. Our mission is to increase the diversity and the total number of students in STEM. We support students as they navigate their educational pathways and meet you where you are right now!

Our program is here to help you every step of the way:

  • Applying to HCC and don't know what steps to take?
  • Want to find out about science, technology, engineering, and math?
  • Wondering what kind of jobs are available in STEM?
  • Curious about transfering to other schools and continuing on to a bachelor degree or beyond?
  • What type of course should I take to help me be most successful in my next school or my next job?
  • I need help studying, or navigating my classes.

We can help you every step of the way.  



Presentation from Connect Days

What we offer:


  • FREE Introductory STEM Exploration Course for incoming STEM students or those interested in learning about STEM
  • FREE math courses for those already at HCC and wanting to accelerate their math skills.
  • Individual scholarships to select courses STEM students need to graduate

Fall & Spring

  • Individual scholarships to courses for STEM students
  • Peer mentoring in math, engineering, computer science, and science
  • Internships in STEM
  • Learn how to make 3D-printed objects in our Innovation Lab
  • Transfer info and tours (Join us as we take trips to other campus or find out more about transfer schools!)
  • Workshops
  • Speakers from STEM industries
  • FREE Summer Bridge courses at your next school (UMass, Westfield State, etc.) 
How to Enroll

1. Email the director to find out more!

  • Schedule an appointment
  • Find out how we can help you succeed

2. Apply to HCC

  • Take a placement test for reading and math (you'll receive an appointment by mail)
  • Upon completion of your placement test, you will be directed to meet with an advisor. Let them know you're interested in the free STEM Starter Academy courses.

Are you a high school/dual enrollment student? Learn more!

Explore further

What's the difference between STEM Scholars and the STEM Starter Academy? How do the programs support each other?

Melissa Paciulli

Director of the STEM Starter Academy

Science, Tech, Engineering & Math

Marieb 141

413.552.2720 (Tel)