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Hagerstown Community College, Washington County Schools Partner on STEMM Ed

Hagerstown Community College (HCC) and Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) in Hagerstown, MD have partnered to launch a new STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medical) Technical Middle College (STMC). The program will let qualifying high school students in the district earn college credits, associate degrees, or certifications in STEMM subjects.

The STMC program will offer courses in biotechnology, cybersecurity, chemistry, computer science, engineering, math, alternative energy, premedical, prepharmacy, and simulation and digital entertainment, according to a report in the Herald-Mail of Hagerston, MD. Junior and senior high school students in the district will have the opportunity to earn at least 30 college credits in these subjects. Some students may also complete associate's degrees or certificates by the time they graduate from high school.

Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of WCPS, told the Herald-Mail that 30 or more students, mostly juniors, could be enrolled in the program in the upcoming school year, and that number could increase to 60 or more in subsequent years. The STMC program will be located at HCC, so students in the program will complete their last two years of high school on the HCC campus. Students in grades 9 and 10 will also have the opportunity to take "significant math and science coursework" in preparation for the STMC program, according to information on HCC's Web site.

The STMC program builds on an existing relationship between HCC and WCPS. The college and district have worked together since 2003 to offer the Early Support for Students to Enter College Education (ESSENCE) program, which also lets high school students earn college credit from HCC. STMC is similar to the ESSENCE program, but STMC focuses specifically on STEMM subjects.

STMC students will receive a significant tuition discount on HCC courses, according to the Herald-Mail. In May, the National Science Foundation awarded $629,192 to help HCC increase access and diversity in STEM programs, and some of that money will help fund the STMC program.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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