STEM Education at MDC On the RiseScience, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Photo at MDC science lab with students

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80% of the most desired job candidates have degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As the largest institution of higher education in the country, Miami Dade College is at the forefront of STEM education. MDC spurs student interest and bolsters support for these academic disciplines by ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities and experiences in STEM-related subjects- both inside and outside of the classroom.

MDC offers a variety of degree and certificate options to students who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM fields. Multiple campuses offer personalized support services, academic assistance, and innovative programming with the goal of increasing student retention, completion, and successful transfers to four-year programs.

The ARCOS (Accelerate, Retain, Complete with Opportunities and Support) program was founded by the U.S. Department of Education and derived its name from “arches,” a curved structure found in architecture which is capable of supporting significant amounts of weight. ARCOS is committed to offering a strong academic support structure for students, from the beginning of a STEM student’s college experience all the way through to their degree completion and transfer to a four-year college.

The ARCOS program provides students with personalized services, from mastering study habits to individual academic advisement and career resources sessions. STEM students receive mentoring by second year peer mentors, who themselves are guided and supported by faculty. Not only are students challenged academically, but they are also exposed to learning outside of the classroom through events and workshop opportunities like STEMinars, STEM Coffee Hours, video series, and field trips.

MDC graduates from this program are already making a difference! Joaquin Nunez graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in Environmental Science in 2013. Joaquin is currently pursuing a PhD at Brown University. And Erick Salvador-Rocha is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.

MDC President, Eduardo Padrón received the 2015 U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame Award, presented by U.S. News & World Report.  As he stated,

“I am proud to say Miami Dade College is committed to advancing STEM education to strengthen our economy and prepare future innovators who will make a difference in the world.”

View the different Academic Programs offered at MDC.

If you are interested in the ARCOS program, please contact Brenda Quintero at 305.237.3177 or

Learn more about the MDC Office of Alumni Relations at