The plan for the new PROMISE Pathways project has four major components:
1. Creating an expanded pipeline of underrepresented students from Maryland?s institutions who will pursue doctoral degrees.
2. Developing a stronger network of STEM faculty within the State of Maryland who will facilitate research collaborations that will involve underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students, and foster a stronger sense of mentoring underrepresented students in STEM throughout the state.
3. Providing Maryland?s underrepresented STEM doctoral students with programs that facilitate collegial academic networks, professional development, and degree completion.
4. Offering advanced graduate students and postdocs interactive workshops that will train them for the professoriate along with hands-on, mentored teaching experiences at a wide range of institutions, including research institutions, Predominately White Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Community Colleges.
Intellectual Merit: The PROMISE Pathways project will facilitate wider academic networks for research collaboration. It will also advance and inform the field of graduate education and the sub-disciplines of broadening participation in STEM and psychological sense of community for retention of URMs in STEM. The project will explore creative writing conferences (e.g. application/proposal/dissertation/portfolio house) to coach students through document preparation. The project will also develop a suite of mentored teaching opportunities to facilitate preparation for the professoriate. Both of these examples are potentially transformative with respect to developing a new generation of diverse professors. The concepts are based on 7 years of successful projects at smaller levels and are being considered for expansion. The campuses have the resources, facilities, and administrative support to develop the activities in this Pathways proposal.
Broader Impacts: This Pathways project advances discovery and understanding of retention, pedagogy, and factors of influence for pursuing the professoriate. It promotes teaching, training, and learning through peer mentoring, mentored teaching experiences by faculty, and training/coaching methods that will prepare participants for each milestone in their careers. This project broadens the participation of underrepresented groups by specifically focusing on advancing underrepresented minorities in STEM toward the professoriate. The project also attends to participants with visible and invisible disabilities. This project will enhance the distance learning infrastructure for professional development activities between partner campuses. Results will be disseminated widely through conference proceedings, journal submissions, and particularly through the PROMISE network of blogs and websites. The expanded impact to society will include an understanding of methods and models that can facilitate URM STEM retention and transition to the professoriate. The project seeks to be a model that can be replicated for other institutions, alliances, and university systems in the U.S.
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