What is the STEMM Technical Middle College?
HCC and Washington County Public Schools have established a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical) Technical Middle College which allows college-ready high school students the opportunity to earn college credits and credentials while completing their high school diplomas.
Through the STMC, each student will be given an opportunity to earn at least 30 college credits, and many will be able to complete requirements for certificates and associate’s degrees by the time they graduate from high school. Students in ninth and tenth grade are enrolled in the STMC, as recruits, and must take significant math and science coursework at their “home” high schools to prepare them for their junior and senior years as students in the middle college on the HCC campus.
Who should apply to the STMC?
During the middle school years, students should begin to think about whether the STMC is a good fit for them. It is designed for students who are high-academic achievers, capable of rigorous coursework, and interested in STEMM careers. For these students, the benefits include:
- Enhanced learning
- Starting and finishing college early
- Saving money on a college degree
- Participating in WCPS and HCC activities
What’s the process for becoming an STMC student?
During middle school, interested students should contact their guidance counselors to review their educational goals and plan the appropriate coursework to prepare for entry into the STMC. In the fall of ninth grade, appropriate students are identified as STMC recruits and must plan and complete rigorous coursework at their home schools in preparation for their junior and senior years at HCC. These are typically upper-level math and science courses.
Each year, a Summer Bridge program is offered in July for STMC recruits and STMC students, between their freshman and sophomore years and sophomore and juniors years. It includes one-on-one work with the STMC coordinator to refine each student’s program plans, mini-courses in various STEMM fields (taught by WCPS and/or HCC teachers), in-depth exploration of career pathways, and group activities designed to help students explore STEMM career options, learn about study skills necessary for college, and prepare to take classes at HCC’s campus starting their junior year of high school.
What programs of study are offered?
STMC students will select an educational pathway that will put them on the right course for a career, and further higher education if desired, in one of the following areas:
- Alternative Energy Technology
- Computer Science
- Dental Hygiene
- Digital Instrumentation and Process Control
- Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Simulation and Digital Entertainment
Who pays for the STMC enrollment?
Much funding for STMC students will be provided through a combination of HCC and WCPS payments/discounts mandated by Maryland’s College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013. HCC will provide additional scholarship opportunities for low-income students in particular. Through a combination of discounts and scholarships, students and their families will pay considerably less for STMC enrollment than they would for college enrollment after high school graduation.