STEM Thrive-Grad

Program Description

AAC students who have completed the STEM Thrive program, or have two remaining semesters before graduation, will transition into the STEM Thrive-Grad. The STEM Thrive-Grad program is designed to support AAC students in their last two semesters who are pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medical (STEM) majors at CSU in the following areas:

  • Undergraduate Research
  • STEM Justice
  • STEM in-action
  • Portfolio Development

Program Goals

The STEM Thrive-Grad program will:

  • Facilitate AAC participants transition to graduate school and/or career pursuits. Students in thrive grad engage in a workshop series focused on development of a portfolio that showcases their undergraduate experiences.

Student Engagement/Requirements

Meeting with Retention Specialists 

STEM Thrive-Grad students will be required to meet with their retention specialist for a minimum of THREE meetings throughout the semester. The first meeting should occur within the first 4 weeks of the semester.

Thrive-Grad Senior Sessions

STEM Thrive-Grad students will choose ONE senior session offered by the AAC to engage with every semester. All AAC senior session information for each semester can be found in the AAC STEM Thrive-Grad website, information will include date, zoom link, presenter, description, and any. Documents intended to be utilized during the senior session. Students are welcomed to attend more than one senior sessions each semester. Students are encouraged to engage with seminar opportunities that meet their needs. 

AAC Portfolio Completion

Students will be required to complete the AAC portfolio by uploading the appropriate portfolio artifacts (documents) into the AAC student login profile by Nov. 19th. 

Associated College Workshop/Experience 

Students will also be asked to participate in one activity each semester within their associated college and/or university wide STEM workshop/experience. We recommend for students to keep an eye on their college’s newsletters/emails for updates on workshop opportunities to help plan.

STEM Senior Session Evaluation (this is where you’ll get attendance credit) 

Archived Video Library

Career Prep I: Networking, Transferable Skills, Cover Letter:

Join us in a panel discussion about landing a job post-graduation, how to negotiate your salary and other benefits, and how to navigate various identities in a new environment. You will hear from a diverse group of panelists about their own journey towards agency and their personal journeys. Come prepared to ask questions about the job search, how to engage in salary and negotiation conversations, and how to navigate an entirely new environment in the most authentic way. This session is in collaboration with the Career Center.


Career Prep II – Job Search, Salary Negotiation, Navigating Identities

Join us in a round-table discussion about landing a job post-graduation, how to negotiate your salary and other benefits, and how to navigate various identities in a new environment.





Managing Student Loans

Learn more about how to manage your debt and work towards financial stability with Canvas Credit Union. Have you wondered how you will set up your student loan payments? Does having debt feel overwhelming? You’re not alone! Join us to learn practical financial skills to set you on track on managing your student loans.




Incorporating STEM Pillars in Post-Graduation Plans

This session will engage students to reflect on their learning of our AAC STEM Pillars (STEM Justice, Undergraduate Research, and STEM in-action) thus far and how they can be incorporated into towards post-graduation plans in an intentional and authentic way.





AAC Graduate School Conference

Has the thought of attending graduate school ever crossed your mind? Have you asked yourself what that process looks like and will require of you? We’re here to spill the tea on all things graduate school related! Attend this TWO-DAY conference hosted by the Academic Advancement Center in collaboration with SDPS. You will have the opportunity to hear from diverse panelists on their journey and experiences navigating the graduate school process, from making the decision to attend, to the application process, and what it’s like being in a graduate program. Hear from guest speakers, engage in activities, and network with people from various fields and backgrounds.

Managing Student Loans

Does the debt from your college days seem overwhelming? Still wondering how you’re going to make that first student loan payment? Hey! You’re not alone. George Hill Direct of Financial Education at Canvas Credit Union will help with a few tips on managing your student loans after college.

Car Maintenance

Students will learn how to check fluid levels in their vehicle, how to diagnose and possibly fix simple issues with their vehicle, and learn basic maintenance for their vehicle.

The Voice of Self Advocacy

We all have different needs. Expressing those needs is essential in our movement forward. Nobody knows you better than YOU. In this CLF, you will have opportunity to identify needs (academic/personal/and professional) and practice the power of your voice!

Peace Corps 

Serving in the Peace Corps is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a new language, and have the experience of a lifetime. Not only do you gain valuable life skills through the experience, but returned Peace Corps volunteers receive a multitude of benefits that can impact your career trajectory, including fellowships for graduate school, advantages when applying to federal government positions, entry into international development, and much more. Join us at this information session to learn about volunteer experiences, ask questions about service, the application process, and benefits of becoming a volunteer.

Taking a Gap Year

Are you hoping to take a gap year before attending graduate school but aren’t sure if you should or what that time would involve? This video provide the following: defining a gap year, exploring why you may want to take one, and discussing a few service oriented programs to participate in during this time. The video will end with a brief reflection activity that will help viewers establish next steps in organizing their gap year.