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The Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Transition, Retention, Advisement, and Completion (STEM-TRAC), at Miami Dade College School of Science housed at the North Campus, seeks to attract promising Hispanic and other disadvantaged students in Miami-Dade County, Florida, to science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies. This project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, is a cooperative effort with St. Thomas University, our four-year partnering institution.

This five-year initiative promotes student attainment of a four-year degree through a combination of high-impact educational practices: STEM related, high-touch/high-tech advisement, peer-led team learning, summer research institutes, undergraduate research, and service learning. While these impact practices have proven successful in traditional educational settings, STEM-TRAC will test their effectiveness and validity when delivered to Hispanics and other disadvantaged students pursuing STEM degrees, the established target population for this project. 

STEM-TRAC is a college wide initiative, with three campuses assigned as STEM hubs: North, Kendall, and Wolfson campuses. Its Director, Outreach Manager, and Coordinators, under the supervision of the Dean of the School of Science, ensure all interventions and activities are delivered to students across the Miami Dade College campuses, as the address the established goals of enrollment, retention, completion and transfer to a four-year institution. 

For additional information:

Kathleen Rodríguez
School of Science
Miami Dade College
11380 NW 27th Ave.
Miami, FL 33167
Phone: 305-237-1361
Fax: 305-237-1529

STEM Ladder

The principal goals of the Miami Dade College North Campus a STEM Ladder to Student Success project is to increase enrollment of Hispanic and other low-income minorities attaining STEM degrees. This educational program attracts promising Hispanic and other low-income students in Miami-Dade County to STEM studies, ensuring their transition from high school through the first two years of college, and transfer to four-year colleges and universities. 

MDC’s STEM Ladder offers participants innovative approaches to STEM education, impacting their learning experience in a multi-level pipeline from high school to post-secondary enrollment at Miami Dade College, with transfer to a four-year institution and completion of a STEM baccalaureate degree. The High-Impact practices that will be incorporated into the program, which include high school summer camps, summer research institutes, interdisciplinary teaching (Learning Communities), service learning, and undergraduate research internships, will lead Hispanic and low-income students to achieve STEM degrees. 

Service Provided through the Grant:

  • Science and Math Summer Camps are offered to foster interest among rising juniors and seniors for encouraging exploration of science-intensive academic and career paths. 
  • Paired courses (Learning Communities) are offered, where MDC North Campus students will enroll concurrently in STEM and reading courses to ensure interdisciplinary exposure and create student support structure. The curriculum design will be problem-based learning (PBL).
  • A lecture series and STEM career symposia is offered at the Science Complex for MDC North Campus faculty, students, and High School students with STEM professionals in cutting-edge careers. 
  • Students have the opportunity to become STEM Ambassadors and participate in a Service Learning program so that college students work on peer mentoring and advising to area high school students.
  • A STEM Summer Research Institute for MDC students at North Campus’ Science Complex is offered where students could be paid stipends to be Research Assistants or may choose to participate in an Undergraduate Research Internship (URI) at the University of Florida’s and other institutions.

For further information:

Laura Iglesias
STEM Ladder Grant Director
Miami Dade College, North Campus
Science Complex A357
11380 NW 27th Ave.
Miami, FL 33167
Tel 305-237-1598
Fax 305-237-1529

Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agriculture Education & Hispanic Workforce Development

Miami Dade College's Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agriculture Education & Hispanic Workforce Development (FCCAgE) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Program provides student experiential learning for undergraduate underrepresented students. The main goal is to retain them in BS programs, and channel them to the workforce. As a multi-institutional consortium funded by the USDA Hispanic Serving Institution's Grants Program.

The Biology department of Miami Dade College, North Campus works with Florida International University (FIU), St. Thomas University and Universidad Inter-Americana de Puerto Rico, San German, Puerto Rico. Among other institutions, the FCCAgE is partnering with Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and Earth Learning in order to offer students with a holistic, multidisciplinary, and problem-based approach necessary for tackling tomorrow's agro-ecological challenges. Student participants have the potential to receive funding for their Bachelor's degree in Biological sciences at Miami Dade College.

Learn more about the USDA-HSI program 

Bridge to the Baccalaureate

The University of Miami (UM) and Miami Dade College (MDC) have collaborated on the Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program since 1994.  The long-term goal of the program is to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue PhDs in the biomedical sciences.  It is designed to facilitate their transition into the biomedical sciences at UM. The Bridge Program is funded and supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS).  The key components of the Bridge Program are Special courses, Research experiences, Faculty mentoring, and travel to national science meetings.

Through the Bridge Program you will receive college credit for courses taken at UM while at MDC, be paid for the time you spend conducting  research in a UM lab, participate in seminars and present at a national science meeting.  Students that successfully complete the Bridge Program and decide to transfer to UM have the opportunity to become an HHMI scholar and/or an Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) scholar.  As an HHMI and./or IMSD scholar, students will receive paid research experiences.

For further information contact:

Kendall Campus - Jennifer Bravo: 305-237-2861;                
North Campus - Sandra Martinez: 305-237-1107;  
Wolfson Campus - Virginia Fuillerat: 305-237-7353;  
InterAmerican Campus - Monica Padron: 305-237-6910;
University of Miami - Michael Gaines: 305-284-5058;


Miami Dade College InterAmerican Campus Organized Approaches for Success in Science (STEM OASIS) grant is an award supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, under the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program to implement the Institutional Project.

The goal of this three-year project is to engage high-need minority students in the study of science and improve the critical skills necessary for them to persist and earn a STEM degree, using a variety of strategies. The project will also enable collection of high-quality and timely data for improving postsecondary student outcomes relating to persistence and completion of STEM degrees. STEM OASIS focuses on minority students, especially women, assisting them in earning the associate in arts degree in a STEM concentration in the first two years and transferring afterward to the Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field, both at Miami Dade College.

The objectives for meeting the goal of STEM OASIS project are: (1) faculty development and implementation of science inquiry pedagogy in STEM courses as a strategy to promote student engagement in science; (2) a 20% increase in retention through incorporation of peer-to-peer STEM learning as a means to develop problem-solving skills, persistence, success, confidence, and leadership skills in STEM courses; (3) engage 10 students in undergraduate, targeted research in order to build and improve critical STEM skills for advancement; and (4) establish a student-led STEM community-building platform through which students can form connections and stay engaged with STEM and successfully transfer to the bachelor of science program in a STEM field at MDC. Funding from USDE will be used for faculty development, student peer-to-peer learning stipends, project staff salaries, educational materials, and travel.

For additional information:

Zhiqi Zhang, Ph.D. 
Program Director
Department of Natural and Social Sciences
InterAmerican Campus
Miami Dade College
627 SW 27th Ave., Room IAP-25
Miami, FL 33135
Phone: 305-237-6543

Florida Georgia Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP)

The Florida – Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) is poised to markedly increase the low participation by and degree production of underrepresented minorities (URM) within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at the nine baccalaureate institutions that make up FGLSAMP. The alliance has experienced great success since its inception in 1991.

Through the design and implementation of the FGLSAMP model, STEM programs at Alliance institutions have played a leadership role in reforming STEM undergraduate education and thus positively impacting the low STEM degree production. FGLSAMP is comprised of 12 institutions within Florida and 1 in Georgia. The FGLSAMP institutional partners are: Albany State University (ASU); Bethune-Cookman College (BCC); Florida International University (FIU); Florida Memorial College (FMC);  Florida State University (FSU); University of Florida (UF); University of South Florida (USF); University of Central Florida (UCF University); University of Miami (UM); Tallahassee Community College (TCC); Miami Dade Community College (MDCC); Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ); and Florida A&M University (FAMU) serving as the lead institution.

FGLSAMP in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to significantly increase the numbers of STEM baccalaureate, masters and Ph.D. recipients through the implementation of best practices established over the past 14 years of operation. The FGLSAMP model employed to meet our goal is based upon a holistic approach designed to facilitate STEM recruitment, STEM retention, professional and academic development and STEM graduation at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. This model will also assist our ability to cultivate greater program execution and output.

For additional information:
Heather J. Belmont, Ph.D.
Dean of the School of Science
Miami Dade College
11380 N.W. 27th Ave., A333
Miami, Florida  33167
Telephone: 305-237-1757
Fax: 305-237-1529

Bank of America Biosciences Program

The purpose of the Bank of America Biosciences program is to train and place low-income students in high-wage, high-growth bioscience fields, directly aligning with the College’s mission of changing lives through the opportunity of education.

This program will provide support to students in a variety of ways to ensure entry, retention, completion, and job placement. The first form of support will be through student stipends to low-income students enrolled in biosciences career ladder programs. It will target students who have additional financial needs beyond what is covered in their financial aid package. Students will be eligible for additional aid to cover additional costs from tuition, lab fees, books, or other costs. This stop-gap funding will be critical to covering the additional needs of students not met through the traditional financial aid package. This type of student support will not reduce or impact a student’s existing financial aid in any way and will be provided directly to the students. It is anticipated that at least 15 students will receive stipends annually. The second form of support will be in the form of stipends for students completing their required program internship. It is anticipated that at least 7 students every year will benefit from the internship stipend awards.

All students in the biosciences career ladder have to complete internships in order to complete their program certificate or degree. As most internships are unpaid and require a significant amount of a student’s time, these internships can present a significant barrier to student completion, but they also represent an important and critical experience in the field for students about to enter the workforce. Also, internship stipends will not impact a student’s financial aid package at the College. The final form of support will be to provide students with access to a bioscience career symposium series, which will develop students’ soft skills in career-specific and general workplace issues. It is anticipated that at least 100 students will participate in the Bioscience Career Symposium Series each year.

For additional information:

Betty Simon
Miami Dade College
11380 NW 27th Ave., A338
Miami, Florida  33167
Telephone: 305-237-1469
Fax: 305-237-1529

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.