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NSF AGEP California HSI Alliance

NSF AGEP California HSI Alliance

The NSF AGEP California HSI Alliance brings together four Hispanic Serving Institutions in California: UC Merced; UC Santa Barbara; CSU Fresno; and CSU Channel Islands; with the specific goal of developing, implementing and testing a model for creating a more diverse STEM faculty workforce. The Alliance focuses on pedagogical training and career mentoring to prepare dissertating doctoral students for teaching-focused careers at a broad range of colleges and universities.

The Alliance’s pedagogical training includes four main components:

  1. a summer institute that provides training for students on pedagogical practices for CSU curricula and classrooms;
  2. a pairing of CSU faculty members with UC doctoral students to mentor them on discipline-specific teaching strategies and goals;
  3. a semester-long teaching fellowship to incorporate research, assessment, and service-learning opportunities into CSU classrooms
  4. networking and social support from the AGEP cohort and program while doctoral students complete their dissertations and enter the STEM academic faculty workforce

The Alliance will also investigate a range of issues including attitudes and assumptions of Ph.D. students and faculty members with regard to pursuit of faculty positions at non-research-intensive institutions. It will assess career goals of STEM doctoral students, as well as STEM faculty values and norms regarding their students' careers.

Learn more about the NSF AGEP California HSI Alliance mentors and mentees.

For more information, visit the NSF AGEP California HSI Alliance website.

Award Abstract: #1820875 

Abstract

Collaborative Research: The AGEP California Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Alliance to Increase Underrepresented Minority Faculty in STEM

This AGEP Alliance brings together four Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in California (CA) with the specific goal of developing, implementing and testing a model for creating a more diverse STEM faculty, which is broadly replicable across the nation in HSI institutions. The AGEP CA HSI Alliance model focuses on pedagogical training and faculty career mentoring to prepare historically underrepresented minority (URM) doctoral students, who are at the stage in their training where they are completing their dissertations, for teaching-focused faculty careers at colleges and universities. While the model work is through partnerships between UC-Santa Barbara, UC-Merced, CSU-Fresno and CSU-Channel Islands, the project is creating a model that will be applicable in other states with multi-tier systems, as well as the UC and CSU systems.

This alliance was created in response to the NSF's Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program solicitation (NSF 16-552). The AGEP program seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and success of historically underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields. AGEP Transformation Alliances develop, replicate or reproduce; implement and study, via integrated educational and social science research, models to transform the dissertator phase of doctoral education, postdoctoral training and/or faculty advancement, and the transitions within and across the pathway levels, of URMs in STEM and/or STEM education research careers. This Alliance is also funded by the NSF's Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST).

The Alliance model is targeting processes for developing, implementing and testing faculty career mentoring and instructional trainings, including: (1) a summer institute for students to learn pedagogical practices for CSU curricula and classrooms; (2) a pairing of CSU faculty members with UC doctoral students to mentor them on discipline-specific teaching strategies and goals; (3) a semester-long teaching fellowship to incorporate research, assessment, and service-learning opportunities into CSU classrooms; (4) assistance with transitions to postdoctoral fellowships, when necessary, as part of the preparation for a teaching faculty position; and (5) networking and social support from the AGEP cohort and program while the URM doctoral students complete their dissertations and enter the STEM academic faculty workforce.

The research component is investigating the attitudes and assumptions of Ph.D. students and faculty members regarding pursuing faculty positions at non-research-intensive institutions. It is assessing career goals of URM and non-URM STEM doctoral students, as well as STEM faculty values and norms regarding their students' careers. It is also examining the perceptions of faculty normative beliefs held by doctoral students at UC campuses. Framed in terms of social norms theory, the research is comparing the degree to which doctoral students' perceptions of faculty members' views match the faculty's own stated views and norms regarding career choices.

The AGEP CA HSI Alliance team will work with external consultants at SmartStart Evaluation and Research, to conduct formative and summative evaluations. They will also engage an Executive Board of UC and CSU administrators and leaders, as well as an external Advisory Board. The boards will provide feedback to the Alliance team and suggest adjustments to the project's management; to model development, implementation, testing, dissemination, and sustainability; to the mechanisms for replication and reproduction; to the evaluation; and to the research.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.