The alliance includes five, PhD-granting institutions in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and West Texas A&M University). It also includes six additional collaborating institutions (Tarleton State University, Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas A&M–San Antonio, Texas A&M –Texarkana, Texas A&M–Commerce and Texas A&M- Central Texas).
The Alliance provides activities and financial support to facilitate your participation in scholarly and professional skill development activities, development of community and co-mentoring networks, participation in research conferences, securing of multi-institutional research mini-grants, and participationand performance-based retention bonuses.
The Alliance will operate as one cohesive unit to: 1) develop a robust cyber-enabled social and virtual infrastructure; 2) use existing Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty infrastructure to allow graduate faculty at one TAMU System university to participate on the graduate committee and act as coadvisor for students at another System university; 3) use existing TAMUS administrative structures and communication technologies to coordinate AGEP activities with local STEM efforts and strategize on institutionalization of successful AGEP activities; 4) leverage existing Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate program to facilitate fellowships among AGEP students and promote collaborative research of colleagues across the TAMUS; and 5) develop a multi-level, highly engaged mentoring structure.
Execution of these approaches will generate: 1) a replicable, transportable, and evidence-based model for sustainable strategies to remove barriers to participation and success of STEM URM doctoral students on their path to the professoriate; 2) infrastructure integrating TAMUS activities that will enable the future expansion of this model to additional interdisciplinary themes, thus expanding the impact of this approach; and 3) multiple paths to academic careers for URM STEM students by their obtaining the skills needed for academic positions in research-intensive as well as teaching-intensive universities, depending on their preference.
Dr. Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Assistant Professor in Department of Psychology and Africana Studies, will lead the Social Science research project. The Social Science research project will focus on examining the impact of experiences of exclusion on the success of URM STEM graduate students and ways to promote retention through strategies that promote inclusion.
This NSF-funded AGEP program includes a directive as stated in NSF 12-554 (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/ 2012/nsf12554/nsf12554.htm) that the program “must focus on underrepresented minority, U.S. citizens in STEM graduate education, and/or postdoctoral training, and their preparation for academic STEM careers at all types of institutions of higher education.” The National Science Foundation’s AGEP program is committed