STEM careers continue to top the charts for high demand jobs in the US, and now it is possible to earn a four-year STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) degree tuition free by starting at MCC. This is possible through a partnership between the College and Michigan State University (MSU) as part of MCC’s new STEM Scholars program. The program offers students pursuing a degree in a STEM, opportunities for scholarships, professional development and paid internships. 

“This STEM Scholars Program comes at a critical time, not only for our area, but for our country,” said MCC President, Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea. “There is a high- demand in the marketplace for more people pursuing degrees in STEM fields to ensure we can compete in a global economy,” she added.

The STEM Scholars program is made possible through two, five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, the S-STEM Scholarship Program and the LSAMP Program. 

The S-STEM Scholarship is an NSF grant-funded program enabling MCC to provide eligible students with a two-year associate’s degree tuition free. Students awarded an S-STEM Scholarship at MCC, and who are accepted to MSU’s College of Natural Sciences, are also eligible to apply for an additional two-year S-STEM Scholarship to complete their bachelor’s degree tuition free. S-STEM scholarships are awarded to academically talented, low-income students intending to pursue a STEM career. The S-STEM Scholarship can be added to other scholarships or grant funding. Scholarships for tuition and books are also available on an ongoing basis for up to two consecutive years based on eligibility.

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program is focused on increasing participation and graduation rates among underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math fields. LSAMP students gain invaluable hands-on experience through paid undergraduate research and internships, while working with professional STEM mentors, and benefit from extensive academic support including advising, peer and professional tutoring, and participation in the MCC Summer Bridge Pre-College Program.

By applying to the STEM Scholars program at MCC, students may be eligible for one or both of these programs. To qualify, students must be enrolled at the College full-time, be pursuing a degree in a STEM field, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and participate in STEM Scholar activities.

To give Science majors at MCC a competitive edge when transferring to a four-year college or university, the Science and Mathematics Division at MCC is offering students undergraduate research opportunities in a multidisciplinary space for research in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. 

“Undergraduate research opportunities have a broad impact on the individual student,” said Dr. Ron Stamper, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. “Research experience readies the student for the next level of college and develops skills that they can apply throughout their career.” 

Research opportunities provide a safe, short-term way for students to determine if their field of study and chosen career field is a good fit. It also can make the difference in the job market, serving as the required “work experience” many recent graduates need to land an interview.

The student research lab was developed in response to expectations of graduate schools and employers that science majors have the hands-on experience that comes from doing scientific research.