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4Cs Seeks to Pair STEM Professionals with STEM Students for Virtual Mentoring Program

December 1, 2020

Cape Cod Community College has launched a virtual “STEM Mentoring Network” designed to connect students in the booming fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with industry professionals and experts in the Cape and Islands region. Funded by STEM Starter Academy through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, this program seeks to support 4Cs students be successful in STEM degrees and careers from start to finish.

“Looking at some existing support models, we know that students who participate in STEM mentoring programs complete their studies at a significantly higher rate than those who aren’t mentored,” said Bridget Burger, Director of the STEM Mentoring Program at Cape Cod Community College. “With the challenges we are all facing with remote work, we realized that we also needed to be there in virtual spaces with support systems like STEM Mentoring. To boost our work and better connect students to professionals, we’ve built a new virtual platform that we believe will help expand the increased engagement.”

The new virtual platform allows mentors to sign up, create a profile with background, interest, and availability, and connect with existing LinkedIn accounts. Once a mentor is signed up, the platform then matches existing students with mentors with similar academic and career interests. From there, students can request sessions with mentors to discuss anything from career exploration and resume building to career opportunities, internships, interview tips, and degree pathways.

“My experience in the STEM Mentoring program has helped me better understand what it is to be a professional in an engineering field,” said Caitlin Marotta, a second year Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing students at 4Cs. “My mentor was able to help me understand what to expect in the field, what employers are looking for in candidates, how to network, and what it’s like to be working as an engineer.”

The STEM Mentoring program also has a new partnership this year with the Cape Cod Technology Council. Students who get involved with be sponsored to attend the virtual first Friday Cape Cod Council Speaker Series with their mentor.

“Serving a mentor has been a very rewarding experience,” said Chris O’Brien from Dative Creative Web Solutions on Cape Cod. “STEM fields, understandably, value and prioritize technical skills. Mentorship is an excellent opportunity to develop soft skills and interpersonal relationships that are integral to a successful career.”

Mentors of any age and in any STEM field are encouraged to sign up by going to https://capecod.firsthand.co  and select “Give Advice”. For more information on the STEM Mentoring program or help with signing up as a mentor, contact Bridget Burger at bburger@capecod.edu.