As a recent graduate of Harry S. Truman College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago, Stephanie Guerra hopes to transfer in spring 2024 to the University of Illinois at Chicago to pursue a bachelor’s degree in general chemistry.
In an effort to prepare for that transition, Guerra recently participated in UChicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) Introduction to Molecular Engineering course, created specifically to help more City Colleges of Chicago students transfer into four-year degree programs focused on STEM–and to help diversify growing STEM fields.
During the three-week program at UChicago, students learned through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on laboratory experience about molecular engineering research topics in immunoengineering, materials science and engineering, and energy and applied materials.
“Seeing how STEM professionals work has been really inspiring. And working with advisors during the course helped me prepare for a potential college transfer because we talked about what to prioritize in the application,” Guerra said.
The program’s stipend was also helpful in Guerra’s commute, and it provided her a financial buffer, she said, in order to take three weeks off from her job.
Guerra hopes to build on what she learned in the course to pursue the career she’s aspired to since she was a child: a veterinarian.