NSF INCLUDES: LEVERAGE, Strengthening the ASSIST Collaborative to Illuminate Engineering Faculty Pathways
The LEVERAGE design & development launch pilot, led by an alliance of the seven largest national diversity-serving engineering professional organizations, will design, develop and test strategies that will inform how best to strengthen engineering education to increase the number of historically underrepresented faculty in engineering. This pilot will support the alliance's longer-term objective to construct a fully integrated system for faculty transition stages to double the number of historically underrepresented engineering faculty by 2025. This diversification will promote the progress of science by increasing innovation and creativity among engineering faculty and will significantly increase the likelihood that all engineering students will have the opportunity to take classes from diverse engineering faculty members. Addressing the dearth of diverse engineering faculty in higher education is particularly important for the success of historically underrepresented engineering students - the prospective source of future faculty. The project will create resources and programs which provide full circles of support for the retention, productivity and success of early-career faculty. The alliance members currently offer professional development for early-career engineering faculty workshops at their respective annual conferences. This project will extend these workshops to offer year round programming at multiple personnel levels, thereby increasing the impact and offering early career faculty resources to support their success in academic careers.
The broadening participation challenge addressed by this design & development launch pilot is the severe shortage of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic faculty members in engineering. This project contributes to broadening participation in the nation's scientific workforce by strengthening and diversifying the engineering professorate that can create a more inclusive engineering education experience. The goals of the project are to design, develop, and test strategies that can then be brought to scale to double the number of underrepresented minorities holding engineering faculty positions by 2025 - from 1,683 diverse faculty in 2014 to 3,366 in 2025. These strategies include the creation of full circles of support for early-career faculty - fostering greater productivity and success in navigating the tenure and promotion pathways. The full circles of support will include a variety of professional development methods including webinars, virtual learning groups, mentoring, self-paced virtual learning, virtual brown-bag lunches, and networking opportunities. This pilot leverages the existing NSF ASSIST collaboration between the seven largest national diversity-serving engineering professional organizations to extend the American Indian Science and Engineering Society's (AISES') Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM model.
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