STEM en Familia at RCC


Riverside City College has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to support STEM students as they transition from high school to a college called STEM en Familia: Guiding Critical Transitions to the Baccalaureate. This grant funds interventions to improve the success of students majoring in STEM as they progress through college.


The program has been designed to support student’s transition from high school to RCC to a university. Each support is intended to help students succeed in college and in STEM courses, in particular. STEM programs are challenging. STEM majors include, but are not limited to astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, maths, physics and psychology.


Transition From High School to a Two-Year College

Intervention: Orientation and Summer Bridge Course(s)

            Take a summer course to get you started toward your major. Taking a summer course allows you to get ahead in your pathway to graduation. Along with Summer Bridge, RCC offers an orientation to the campus which is helpful in navigating the hectic start to fall.

Intervention: Home​ Courses

These are courses, within your major, that have been redesigned. Each course has a full suite of integrated academic support to help you succeed. Faculty will communicate with you about the other opportunities offered through the grant. Also, other students in the class are STEM en Familia students which creates an academic family.

Intervention: Workshops ​

Three workshops per semester, one per month, are offered. Topics include STEM student survival skills, pathways, registering for classes, meeting faculty that were first-generation college students, meeting former students who work in STEM fields, touring transfer institutions and preparing for summer research experiences.

​Transition From Two-Year to Four-Year University

Intervention: Summer Research Experience

            Students are eligible to participate in summer research experiences during their time at RCC. Summer research experiences are in STEM areas at either RCC, UC Riverside or California State University, San Bernardino — all of whom are grant partners. Research experiences help students understand the rigors of STEM career and discover research opportunities outside of a lab class.

Intervention: Near-Peer Mentors

            Summer research students are assigned to a near-peer mentor at UCR or CSUSB — if you are doing your summer research at that institution. Many, if not all, will be former RCC students or other community college students who are majoring in a STEM field. Mentors will be available during the cross-enrollment course.

Intervention: Cross-Enrollment Facilitation

            In your second year at RCC, students, depending on your transfer plan can take a course at UCR or CSUSB.  STEM en Familia will facilitate the registration process. 


As a student of the Promise program, we ask that you fill out an Opt-In form. The Opt-In form​ takes a minute to fill out.  Students under the age of 18 must have the permission of a parent or guardian and contact Virginia White Ph.D., professor, Biology at virginia.white@rcc.edu for an Opt-In form.  Completed and signed Opt-In forms should be emailed to Dr. White, as well.