Special To / The Advocate
Students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields can have their curiosity cultivated within the Adelante with STEM Academy on campus.
Ysrael Condori, HSI STEM staff member, said the academy focuses on STEM exploration with comprehensive student support integrated through counseling and weekly tutoring.
“The academy started in the fall 2012 semester as the Adelante program. From the start, we strived to increase STEM involvement and personal development while keeping tutoring and academic success our focus as a community and program,” Condori said.
HSI STEM Grant and METAS Program Manager Mayra Padilla said the Adelante program is designed for students curious about science and to foster a sense of what STEM majors’ can study and apply for.
Students are able to join Adelante first by joining and completing a Math Jam session.
Math Jams are typically eight-day math preparation summer programs with this past semester featuring three math courses, Math 118, 120 and 171.
Participants are given the respective math book for their course once the program begins and can continue to use it once enrolled in Adelante STEM Academy during the following semester.
Going into the fall semester, students enrolled in Adelante STEM Academy must also have a qualifying math course and be enrolled in a counseling course such as Psychology 103A, Course Success, or Psychology 103B, Transfer Success.
From there, the yearly cohorts take the next math course needed in the next spring semester and concurrent psychology class.
Kelly Ramos, minority retention specialist and programs coordinator for Adelante STEM Academy, said Math Jam creates a bond between students and they are able to view each other as a helping resource that builds a strong community.
“They all come out as friends and are motivated to continue as STEM majors and possibly join other resources around here like Center for Science Excellence, once they’re done (with Adelante STEM Academy).”
Condori said weekly STEM tutoring has been the biggest impact for most students.
“The community feeling and peer led tutoring leader sessions have provided motives for students to keep going and then that incentive is tied to their continuation within the program,” Condori said.
Padilla agrees that the community aspect make students want to come back and mentor those in similar footsteps.