APLU NSF INCLUDES: A Collective Impact Approach to Broadening Participation in the STEM Professoriate
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) will lead this Design and Development Launch Pilot to conduct activities aimed to increase the number of STEM faculty at APLU member universities from underrepresented and traditionally underserved groups: Women, historically underrepresented minorities (URM), persons with disabilities (PWD), and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This project was created in response to the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) program solicitation (NSF 16-544). The INCLUDES program is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. The INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots represent bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation challenge in STEM.
The full participation of all of America's STEM talent is critical to the advancement of science and engineering for national security, health and prosperity. Our nation is advancing knowledge and practices to address a STEM achievement and the graduation gap between postsecondary STEM students who are women, URM, PWD, and persons from low socioeconomic backgrounds and males, non-URM, non-PWD, and persons from middle and upper socioeconomic backgrounds. At the same time U.S. universities and colleges struggle to recruit, retain and promote a diverse STEM faculty as role models and academic leaders for historically underrepresented and traditionally underserved students to learn from, to work with and to emulate. Recent NSF reports indicate that URM STEM associate and full professors occupy 8% of the senior faculty positions at all 4-year colleges and universities and about 6% of these positions at the nation's most research-intensive institutions. The APLU INCLUDES: A Collective Impact Approach to Broadening Participation in the STEM Professoriate has the potential to advance a national network of organizations to improve the representation of women, URMs, PWDs and persons from low socioeconomic backgrounds in STEM faculty positions, eventually providing URM STEM role models to STEM undergraduate and graduate students at postsecondary academic institutions across the Nation.
APLU will work closely with multiple organizations to address key objectives, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (recently renamed the Big Ten Academic Alliance), the Council of Graduate Schools, the Florida Education Fund's McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program, Southern Regional Education Board State Doctoral Scholars Program and the University of California's Office of the President. Together this network plans to connect APLU member institutions and experts to (1) develop and test a set of diagnostic tools and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and supporting faculty, to (2) identify a set of institutional activities to increase participation along STEM pathways toward the professoriate, to engage a group of institutions to collectively implement one or more of the activities, and to (3) evaluate the adequacy and coverage current data sources and metrics available to track students from entry into postsecondary education through the professoriate.
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