What is STEM Core?

STEM Core provides academic and career support to first-year students with a MATH 112/113 placement who are majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

STEM Core is a national program founded by Growth Sector, a non-profit workforce intermediary organization. The STEM Core program at Fort Lewis College is funded by the NSF’s Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Alliance: STEM Core Expansion award (EES #1834608/1834628) through the University of Colorado Boulder, for which Growth Sector serves as the backbone organization.

Learn with friends

You'll join a cohort of first-year students who meet twice weekly for your first year of college. In this group, you'll make academically supportive friends who share your passion for STEM, support you through the challenges of college, and celebrate your success! Where possible, we will guide you through signing up for classes together so you take courses with your friends and favorite study partners rather than in a sea of strangers.

Learn computer programming

Computer programing is helpful in all branches of science, technology, engineering, and math. No matter your career goals, coding skills can make you more employable! Most Fort Lewis College programming classes are unavailable to first-year students. STEM Core students benefit from the opportunity to learn these skills early. You’ll get to choose from languages like Python, R, and JavaScript, depending on your interests and major. Learning to code is fun, helps your future classes, and gives you a competitive edge when applying for internships!

Get help with math

STEM Core is the place for you whether you love or fear math! Our math study groups are a friendly place to explore mathematics together. We welcome all questions, no matter how basic, as an excellent opportunity to turn confusion into curiosity! We believe that every person can understand and enjoy mathematics. If you have found math to be painful, confusing, or boring in the past, we want to turn this around for you. STEM Core students don’t just survive mathematics…they thrive!

Navigate life together

College students are so much more than just students. You are adults with jobs, families, commitments, and responsibilities. When life gets complicated, it’s nice to have someone on your side. In STEM Core, you’ll meet one-on-one with a dedicated Student Support Specialist for 30 minutes every other week to check in and see if there’s anything you need. Whether you’re worried about your grades, struggling with your mental health, aren’t sure where your next meal is coming from, or have a roommate situation that’s getting out of hand, your student support specialist can help you connect with the right resources to manage your situation.

Paid summer internships

STEM Core has partnerships with leading employers like NASA, National Renewable Energy Labs, Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos National Labs, and more. One of our regular STEM core activities is tuning into zoom meetings to meet employers from these companies and learning about their internships. A typical STEM Core internship pays $6,000 for 10 weeks of full-time employment in the summer. Students who complete Algebra, Pre-calculus, and basic computer programming through STEM Core are eligible to apply. Some students have landed internships after their very first year of college.

Join a research project

Did you know you can earn college credit for working on real research projects with your professors? We partner with FLC’s undergraduate research center to help students find research opportunities at home and abroad. We aim for you to get hands-on experience in your field as soon as possible. Some STEM Core students joined research projects during their first semester at FLC!

Find where you belong

We strongly support the ability of all students to participate meaningfully in STEM, regardless of learning differences, neurodivergence, or physical ability. We believe in the capacity of every student to learn and grow, irrespective of their history or background. We welcome students of every gender identity and sexual orientation. We invite open, authentic, and respectful participation from students of every ethnicity, creed, and culture. We support students who are parents, veterans, or of non-traditional college age. We serve both full-time and part-time students. While citizenship status does affect eligibility for many of our internship opportunities, STEM Core membership is possible for all students regardless of nationality or citizenship status.