Queens STEM Academy

If you have any questions please contact Niki Jones, Director of STEM Initiatives or Dr. Reem Jaafar, Co-PI and Director of Research, Evaluation & Program Support for Queens STEM Academy at QSTEM@lagcc.cuny.edu or STEMAcademy@lagcc.cuny.edu.

Students in Biology lab learning.

Queens STEM (Q-STEM) is a collaborative educational pipeline program for STEM students in the borough of Queens through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College and Queens College. The work and activities in Q-STEM are supported by a United States Department of Education – Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) STEM grant.

Q-STEM offers students a more comprehensive path to the bachelor’s degree for STEM majors. The activities of the grant aim to provide wrap-around supports to increase STEM enrollment and degree completion at both LaGuardia and Queens College.

Through the Q-STEM Academy, STEM students can participate in learning communities, receive academic support from tutors and rigorous academic bootcamps, take advantage of paid research and internships opportunities, receive comprehensive transfer support and advising, participate in wellness programming to sustain students as they continue their academic journey and find receive support from faculty, advisors and peer mentors at both LaGuardia and Queens College through discipline specific Virtual Communities.

LaGuardia has established articulation agreements with Queens College in biology, computer science, environmental science and is actively working on other STEM articulation agreements. These articulation agreements will allow students to start at LaGuardia and to complete their bachelor’s degree at Queens College with no loss of credit.

Q-STEM Academy is part of the Q-STEM grant programming. It allows student who participate in its activities to get enhanced support during their time at LaGuardia, while they are transferring to Queens College and also while they are students at Queens College. Any student who is a member of any one Q-STEM Academy program or activity is considered a member of the Q-STEM Academy. 

Q-STEM Academy can transform your experience at LaGuardia by offering holistic support to benefit you in and out the classroom. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you’d like!

  • Accumulate credits with interdisciplinary learning through Learning Communities structured around central themes. 
  • Begin your academic journey with dedicated STEM Orientation, customized to ease your transition into college and the STEM field.
  • Be part of a supportive community by joining a network of peers and faculty across all activities. 
  • Participate in the Preparatory and Research Opportunities, get paid, and acquire skills in research methodology and real-world project experience.
  • Have a dedicated space for transfer and advising support with the Virtual Community Access, interact and connect with peers from LaGuardia and Queens College.
  • Get Academic Support or Apply to become an Academic Peer Instruction tutor!
  • Experience Seamless Transfer Pathway from an associate’s degree at LaGuardia to a bachelor’s degree at Queens College.
  • Get access to Wellness Coaching with guidance to navigate college life.

Queens College is LaGuardia’s collaborative partner on the Q-STEM grant.  Many LaGuardia students transfer to Queens College, which is a large producer of STEM graduates. Queens College has stellar faculty and research facilities, and more than $20 million in grants and funding for a wide variety of STEM disciplines. Degrees range from environmental studies and climate dynamics to addressing equity in computer science. Learn more about Q-STEM Academy at Queens College.

Q-STEM Academy students who transfer to Queens College will receive the following additional support:

  • Academic support and tutoring through the Queens College Learning Commons and Writing Center 
  • Tailored academic advising 
  • Career and internship support and also support in finding research opportunities at Queens College 
  • LaGuardia students will have support transferring to Queens College’s Accelerate Complete Engage program, which is modeled after ASAP 
  • Dedicated Transfer Honors support including scholarships set aside for LaGuardia students who are accepted into the Queens College Honors program

STEM Learning Communities

At LaGuardia, we are committed to providing an integrative educational experience. Our Learning Communities are at the heart of this commitment, offering you a chance to engage with your education in a more connected and collaborative way.

What Are Learning Communities?

Learning Communities at LaGuardia are structured groupings of multiple courses that revolve around a shared theme or academic goal. We offer two primary types:

  • Clusters: A combination of three or more classes that delve into different aspects of a common theme or interdisciplinary area.
  • Pairs: Two courses linked by overlapping content or complementary skills, designed to deepen understanding and application.

Students in Learning Communities have higher GPAs than students outside of Learning Communities.  In addition, Learning Community students earn more credits than students that do not participate in Learning Communities, thereby progressing towards their degree faster.

Learn more about Learning Communities at LaGuardia.

Joining a Learning Community at LaGuardia enables you to:

  • Forge Connections: Integrate knowledge across different subjects and see how they intersect in the broader world.
  • Cultivate a Supportive Network: Build meaningful relationships with peers who are as engaged and motivated as you are.
  • Interact Intimately with Faculty: Enjoy a closer rapport with instructors and benefit from a more tailored educational experience.
  • Enhance Academic Performance: Students in Learning Communities often report higher levels of achievement due to the supportive and interconnected learning environment.
  • Stay on Course: Engaging with a Learning Community helps keep you motivated and on track for graduation. 

Q-STEM Research Academy

We’re thrilled to offer a unique opportunity for students to learn research skills, conduct paid research or participate in discipline specific internships. These opportunities are designed for curious minds eager to delve into STEM research and learn essential professional skills. This opportunity happens twice during the academic year. The winter session starts Mid-December, and the summer sessions starts Mid-June. Eligibility and Application Open to All LaGuardia STEM Students. Students can do research as early as their first year at LaGuardia.

Research Students

  • Mentorship: work one-on-one with a faculty mentor 
  • Real-World Projects: Apply your newfound knowledge and skills to a research project that contributes to the work being conducted


Research 101 – Preparatory Learning

  • Intensive Research Methodology: Dive into the research methods, understand the ethics of experimentation, and learn to communicate in science research 
  • Skill Acquisition: Equip yourself with critical skills such as data analysis, scientific writing, and presentation techniques

All students

  • Visits to Queens College: Tour of research facilities at Queens College where you will meet and connect with faculty.  Lab Technique workshop where you will learn lab skills specific to your discipline taught by Queens College faculty. 
  • Science Communication: Work with Irondale’s STEM to STEAM Exact Communication curriculum that helps students develop communication and presentation skills.  Students learn how to do effective science communication to a variety of audiences. 
  • Workshops: Student attend a variety of workshops to develop academic and professional skills.  Workshops are scheduled both at LaGuardia and at Queens College.

Students work with a group based on their discipline of interest.  They learn basic lab skills, how to read journal articles and understand the nature of faculty led research.  They learn to develop an inquiry-based hypothesis, collect data and present their findings to a group of student peers and faculty. Students will also participate in workshops to build study and time management skills and also presentation skills to prepare them for discussing STEM research to general audiences at conferences and symposiums.

Student in Research 101 will also be able to participate in the Q-STEM visits to Queens College for a Lab Crawl, where they can visit several labs and meet with faculty conducting research in their discipline.  They will also be able to participate in a Lab Technique day at Queens College where students can learn lab specific skills that would be applicable for their discipline.  

Students who participate in Research 101 will be given priority for doing faculty-led research during the following research round.   

Q-STEM Research is broken up into two parts, the preparatory academy where students learn specific research skills and the research project in faculty labs.  Students in the Q-STEM Research and Preparatory academy also participate in workshops to build discipline specific skills, presentation skills to prepare them for discussing STEM research to general audiences at conferences and symposiums.  Student will also complete the CUNY CITI training in the responsible conduct in research.  Student in conducting research will also be able to participate in the Q-STEM visits to Queens College for a Lab Crawl, where they can visit several labs and meet with faculty conducting research in their discipline.  They will also be able to participate in a Lab Technique Day at Queens College where students can learn lab specific skills that would be applicable for their discipline.  Students will receive a $2,500 stipend for full participation in this activity.

Virtual Community

Q-STEM Virtual Communities is an opportunity for STEM students to have a home base after participating in the first semester, first year learning community.  It offers a robust, interactive community learning space for students, allowing them to connect online and in-person with faculty and other students interested in the same discipline.

Our Virtual Communities are co-facilitated by LaGuardia faculty with some workshops facilitated by Queens College faculty and Transfer Peer Mentors (students/peer mentors who have already transferred to Queens).  VIG’s online communication tools will enable participants to exchange ideas, ask questions, and obtain advice about their particular discipline, thus fostering a sense of community that drop-in transfer centers or typical one-shot transfer fairs and events have been unable to create. 

  • Discipline-Specific Networks: Choose from our dedicated virtual communities in Biology, Environmental Science, or Computer Science. Each space is curated to cater to its members’ unique interests and academic pursuits.
  • Mentorship: Gain insights and guidance from transfer peer mentors who are current Queens College scholars. They’ve walked your path and are here to share their experiences and wisdom.
  • Active Engagement: Participate in discussions and special activities that are pivotal to your professional development and your successful transfer. 
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with relevant events, research opportunities, and resources.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers. 
  • Real-Time Support: Have a question? Need advice? Your virtual community and peer mentors are here to help you navigate your academic journey. 

Academic Peer Instruction

Why study alone when you can study with peers? Join Academic Peer Instruction (API) to excel in STEM courses through group study sessions or become a peer tutor. Tutoring is free for all LaGuardia students, and tutors earn $17/hour. Visit us in E-115Q or our webpage to learn more.

API Offers

Collaborative Learning Environment:  Engage in dynamic group study sessions modeled after the proven Supplemental Instruction (SI) approach. Collaborate with your peers, share insights, and tackle challenging concepts together.

Content and Knowledge Acquisition: Our peer leaders provide in-depth knowledge of course content and share effective learning strategies to help you optimize your study habits and maximize your academic performance.

Variety of Courses: Comprehensive STEM Support From mathematics to physics, chemistry to engineering, our API program offers support for a wide range of STEM subjects.

Proven Results: Our API program has a track record of success, with students consistently reporting improved grades, increased confidence, and a better understanding of course material.

We hope you join us in this collaborative learning opportunity! We look forward to meeting you.

Get in Touch

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