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The AGEP Alliance Model for Advancing the Faculty Careers of Underrepresented Minority STEM Doctoral Candidates who are Instructors at Historically Black Universities is an active National Science Foundation (NSF) alliance for increasing minority participation and success in higher education. The Alliance focus is on supporting African American HBCU STEM instructors who are All But Dissertation (ABD) status within their doctoral studies. Research has identified numerous challenges for this population of professionals but central to these barriers are socialization processes that have direct, as well as indirect, impacts on access, procedure, and outcome.
To assist in supporting HBCU instructor success, the Alliance has been organized to enhance socialization processes through the establishment of a support community with the explicit intent of doctoral completion and professional readiness for academia. This community features support, guidance, and mentorship from faculty mentors, regional directors, research seminar leaders, summer institute leaders, fellow cohort members, and institutional research advisors. This collaborative structure was created to increase social support and enhance interpersonal experiences in route to building research familiarity, confidence, self-determination, and ultimate success.
The nine Alliance Year 1 participants included HBCU faculty from computational engineering, data science engineering, computer science, chemistry, and mathematics. To gauge progressions in Alliance Year 1, data were collected to examine participant self-efficacy, research autonomy, perceptions of social support, interpersonal experiences, and persistence. Specifically, pre-assessment and post-assessment data were gathered through the Self-Efficacy in Research Measure (SERM), the Attitudes Toward Research Scale (ATRS), and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). The participant study afforded the project team the opportunity to determine the specific nature of advancements and iterate Alliance processes to maximize impact for future cohorts, as the advancement of a refined Alliance model that uniquely incorporates an integrated and collaborative structure to enhance socialization, doctoral completion, and success for STEM faculty is the overarching goal of this award.
Ernst, J., & Brand, B., & Zhu, X. (2022, August), Professional Socialization to Enhance Research and Faculty Readiness Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41988
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