Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Minorities in Engineering
Three diverse public universities have adapted and implemented an institutional change model that proposes five core elements for achieving cultural change in colleges and universities to increase the percentage of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in STEM fields. Since URM doctoral students spend most of their time exposed to the culture of their academic department as they take classes, conduct research, and interact with department faculty, staff, and other graduate students, the climate they experience and the support they receive at the departmental level has a major impact on their success. When interventions address students directly, once they graduate, there may be no lasting change in the department. However, when faculty attitudes and mentoring practices along with departmental processes and procedures change, the changes are more sustainable.
Each participating doctoral granting department has a volunteer faculty member interested in URM success designated as a Faculty Fellow. The Fellow receives programmatic support to increase their understanding of the issues facing URMs in doctoral programs and assessment support to identify the departmental practices that may be hindering URM student success. Together with their department head and director of graduate programs, they work with the departmental faculty to understand graduate student pathways, identify practices and policies that promote success, and diagnose trouble spots. Based on this study of the graduate student experience in their own department, the Fellow develops a departmental initiative designed to address a departmental weakness. The faculty as a whole develop a departmental diversity plan to build these insights into departmental practices and procedures. This paper will explore the process of developing the departmental initiatives and diversity plans as well as report on the initiatives developed and their impact. The benefits and drawbacks of the approach will be discussed along with best practices identified.
Schimmel, K. A., & Campbell, C. D., & Gumpertz, M., & Huet, Y. M., & Kelkar, A. D., & Kizito, J. P. (2020, June), Minority STEM Doctoral Student Success (Experience) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34976
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