The goal of the Worcester/Central MA ASPIRE Regional Collaborative is to increase and support the success of students of color in our region by developing inclusive and diverse STEM faculty. This initiative builds upon several on-going collaborations among QCC, WSU, WPI, and Clark University fostered by the Central MA STEM Network (CMSN) Ecosystem. To complete the continuum of preparing PreK-12 teachers, 2-year faculty, and 4-year teaching faculty, this ASPIRE-RC focuses on building the capacity for 2-year faculty from underrepresented groups (URG) in STEM in the Worcester area.

Regional Collaboratives (RC) are networks of geographically related 2- and 4-year institutions. Currently there are ASPIRE regional collaboratives in California, Iowa, and Texas. In this model, institutions work together to share and develop programs and experiences that work towards two primary goals:

  1. Increase the number and diversity of the pool of graduate students and qualified professionals pursuing a teaching career in STEM at 2-year colleges;
  2. Expand and strengthen the skills of future, early-career and current STEM faculty to teach the diverse student population.

Current partners (and contacts):

Quinsigamond Community College (Adrienne Linnell)
Worcester State University (Daron Banard)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Rory Flinn)

Teaching Training and Fellowship Program Overview

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Fall 2022: Teacher Training and Cohort Building

  • Cohort experience beginning with orientation in late August 
  • Fundamentals of Scientific Teaching and Pedagogy course (WPI ID 527) 
  •  Fall each year, Grad Course, 3-5 PM Thursdays 
  • Teaching Workshops and other Professional Development offerings at each partner school 
  • optional conferences and workshops about teaching 
  • QCC Visit and Meet and Greet with QCC instructors and potential mentors 

Spring 2023: Mentored Teaching Experience

    • ASPIRE Fellows matched with QCC instructor mentors by January 
    • Shadowing of mentor teacher (e.g., course preparation, grading, office hours, etc.) 
    • Meetings with mentor to discuss teaching interests and practices 
    • ASPIRE Fellows give at least one guest lecture 

Spring 2024: Mentored Teaching Experience

    •  ASPIRE Fellows matched with QCC instructor mentors by January
    •  Shadowing of mentor teacher (e.g., course preparation, grading, office hours, etc.)
    • Meetings with mentor to discuss teaching interests and practices
    • ASPIRE Fellows give at least one guest lecture

ASPIRE Fellowship Program Components  

  • teaching training on pedagogy for effective STEM learning 
  • $500 Stipend for completion of Fall teaching training and $500 Stipend upon completion of Spring mentored experience 
  • Feedback on teaching (e.g., guest lecture) and potential letter of recommendation 
  • Opportunity to try out community college teaching and teaching overall 
  • Cohort of colleagues and support faculty/staff advancing inclusive STEM teaching  
  • Gain experience and professional network for teaching positions 

    Fellows Expectations 

    • Meet with QCC mentor 1-2 times per month 
    • Fellows meet ups to reflect on, share experiences and feedback as a cohort 

    Current ASPIRE Fellows 2022-2023


    2023-2024 Fellowship Program Application available Fall 2023 

    Who can apply? 

    • Graduate students and postdocs 
    • STEM students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. 


    If you have any questions regarding the ASPIRE-RC Program, please contact Noemi Robertson, Director for Community Partnerships and Educational Equity.  

    Spring 2024 ASPIRE-RC Program

    Developing Inclusive and Diverse STEM Faculty

    Six ASPIRE Fellows will be selected for the 2024 Spring program to learn and practice teaching diverse learners at a community college. Selected ASPIRE Fellows will receive a QCC faculty mentor and a $500 stipend/semester.

    ASPIRE-RC held an information session for the spring 2024 program on December 1, 2023. Watch the recording below to learn about the ASPIRE mentored STEM faculty training program for teaching at community college.

    Program Components:
    – (free) Pedagogy course
    – Monthly teaching workshops
    – Teaching experiences

    Who can apply?
    – Graduate students and post docs
    – STEM students from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply

    QCC Faculty Panel

    On October 28, 2021, we held a virtual event, Teaching to Shape the Future of STEM. Five QCC faculty shared their path, experiences, and advice about teaching at community colleges. Watch the recording below. See this flyer for more information on our speakers!