Article

PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Enhances Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minority Graduate Students

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Abstract

PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is a consortium that is designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority (URM) PhDs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields who will pursue academic careers. A strength of PROMISE is its alliance infrastructure that connects URM graduate students on different campuses through centralized programming for the three research universities in Maryland: the University of Maryland Baltimore County (the lead institution in the alliance), the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). PROMISE initiatives cover graduate student recruitment, retention, community building, PhD completion, and transition to careers.Although it is not a fellowship, PROMISE offers professional development and skill-building programs that provide academic and personal support for URM students on all three campuses. PROMISE on UMB's campus includes the School of Medicine, which sponsors tricampus programs that promote health and wellness to accompany traditional professional development programs. PROMISE uniquely and atypically includes a medical school within its alliance. The PROMISE programs serve as interventions that reduce isolation and facilitate degree completion among diverse students on each campus. This article describes details of the PROMISE AGEP and presents suggestions for replicating professional development programs for URMs in biomedical, MD/master's, and MD/PhD programs on other campuses.

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... This indicates that only approximately 10% of the terminal degrees conferred during that academic year were to URMs. It is worth noting that about 2.5 times as many URMs were graduating from college in STEM majors during this same time (Tull, Rutledge, Carter, & Warnick, 2012). Based on these findings, there appears to be a disconnect between the number of URMs graduating with STEM undergraduate degrees to those completing doctoral degrees in the same disciplines. ...
... The National Science Foundation (NSF) recognized a need to improve retention and graduation rates of URMs in STEM disciplines at the graduate level and has supported this effort (Tull et al., 2012). Due to NSF's initiatives, several institutions have developed programs to address the needs of URMs. ...
... Due to NSF's initiatives, several institutions have developed programs to address the needs of URMs. For example, the University of Maryland (UM) developed a program aimed at providing professional development activities that would facilitate retention and successful graduation of a diverse pool of Ph.Ds. in all STEM fields (Tull et al., 2012). To address retention and graduation issues, MSM's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) developed learning communities for graduate students in the biomedical sciences. ...
... In programs with a larger percentage of women or URM students, when students see that there are peers of their same social identities who are succeeding in their program, they are less likely to doubt that they can succeed. Similarly, when students have relationships with others who they identify with and feel are like them in some important way, they are more likely to feel connected to the organization (Tull, Rutledge, Carter, & Warnick, 2012). ...
... AGEP programs host a variety of initiatives for graduate students in an effort to (a) cultivate new graduate students, (b) build a supportive community where students can excel, and (c) promote professional development (Institute for Broadening Participation, 2014). A number of NSF reports and research studies have shown that AGEP programs are successful in improving women and URM graduate students' retention in STEM careers and advancement into faculty careers (George, Malcom, Campbell, Kibler, & Weisman, 2008Hrabowski, 2014;Tapia & Lanius, 2000;Tull et al., 2012). One of the major reasons AGEP programs may have succeeded in improving retention is the role they plan in creating stronger professional networks for participants. ...
... The main public research universities in the University of Maryland (UM) system organize activities open to all students from the UM system. PROMISE provides URM graduate students with opportunities to connect with peers from several institutions in activities such as Dissertation House, the Research Symposium, and the Summer Success Institute that support graduate student retention and professional growth (Tull et al., 2012). A strength of the PROMISE program is its ability to connect students with additional support mechanisms such as additional faculty mentors and peers from their own and other institutions, many of whom share some of the students' identities (Carter-Veale, Tull, Rutledge, & Joseph, 2016;Tull et al., 2012). ...
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Aim/Purpose: The purpose of our study was to gain a better understanding of the factors that contribute to graduate student sense of belonging and gain insights into differences in sense of belonging for different groups of students. Background: Sense of belonging, or the feeling that a person is connected to and matters to others in an organization, has been found to influence college student retention and success. Literature on sense of belonging has, however, focused primarily on undergraduate students and little is known about graduate students’ sense of belonging. Methodology: We conducted an exploratory, cross-sectional survey study of graduate students at four public doctoral and comprehensive universities in Maryland, USA. All four institutions were participating in the NSF-funded PROMISE program, which strives to support the retention and academic success of women and underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students. A total of 1,533 graduate students from these four institutions completed the survey. To analyze our data, we used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to test direct and indirect effects of multiple latent variables (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, STEM affiliation, critical mass of women, participation in the PROMISE program, sense of belonging) on each other. Contribution: Research found that sense of belonging influences graduate student retention and success. Thus, gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence graduate student sense of belonging can help improve retention and completion rates, an important issue as national seven-year completion rates have hovered around 44% in the United States. Completion rates have been even lower for women and URM students (i.e., African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders) compared to White students, making sense of belonging an important topic to study for these populations. Findings: We found that professional relationships matter most to graduate student sense of belonging. Professional relationships influenced graduate student sense of belonging more than reported microaggressions and microaffirmations, though they also played a role. We also found differences based on students’ identity or group membership. Overall, microaffirmations played a bigger role in female graduate student sense of belonging and the eco-system of non-STEM programs seemed to have more facilitators of sense of belonging than the ecosystem of STEM programs. Recommendations for Practitioners: We recommend that graduate programs think strategically about enhancing sense of belonging in ways appropriate to the distinct culture and nature of graduate education. For example, departments can make efforts to support sense of belonging through creating community-oriented peer networks of students, transparent policies, and access to information about resources and opportunities. Programs such as PROMISE can support the retention and success of women and URM graduate students, but aspects of these programs also need to be incorporated into graduate programs and departments. Impact on Society: Because graduate student sense of belonging has been found to impact stu-dents’ interest in careers in academia, fostering graduate student sense of be-longing could be a tool for improving pathways to the professoriate for groups that are typically underrepresented in academia such as women and racial or ethnic minorities. Increasing the number of women and URM faculty could, in turn, positively impact the support available to future URM students, which could positively influence future URM students’ sense of belonging. Future Research: Sense of belonging is an important area for future graduate education research and should be studied through survey research with a larger sample of U.S. students than the current study. Sense of belonging is relevant to graduate education worldwide. Future studies might explore graduate student sense of belonging in different national contexts and the role culture plays in shaping it. Moreover, changes in graduate student sense of belonging over the course of their program should be assessed.
... Of the current NSF AGEP Transformation awards, the PROMISE AGEP for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the state of Maryland in the USA, is one of the more experienced alliances, having received the first AGEP award in 2002. The PROMISE AGEP is a unique university system-wide award, and is an exemplar that includes workshops and environments that serve as supplements to students' academic graduate programs, with the purpose of facilitating advanced degree completion and preparing students for academic careers [30]. ...
... PROMISE has a long history of training diverse engineering students, involving diverse engineering mentors, and training students for graduate school at NSBE, SHPE, and AISES conferences. Many of the PROMISE professional development workshops have been co-developed and facilitated by former regional and national officers of NSBE, and the outcomes are regularly shared at conferences of the American Society for Engineering Education [30,31]. The professional development workshop and activities celebrate diverse ethnic backgrounds, and encourage high achievement. ...
... The PROMISE AGEP engages and retains diverse engineering and other STEM students through primary use of the conceptual framework of McMillan and Chavis' "Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC)," along with professional development programming to engage and retain underrepresented graduate students [30]. It also draws upon social science theories to inform its practices and activities so that STEM graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can be encouraged to pursue STEM careers, with an emphasis on preparation for the professoriate. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents an exploratory investigation of global scale diversity and inclusion efforts within engineering education. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are contextualized topics that shift objectives from country to country. The role of D&I in engineering education and practice has gained prominence in recent years due to the fact that engineers are facing increased need for global collaborations and are expected to be able to work in highly diverse teams and within different cultures. D&I initiatives in the field of engineering generally include gender, ethnicity, and national origin, and may include persons who are economically underprivileged and persons with disabilities. While the prominence of D&I has increased, international learning outcomes and collaborations within these efforts are limited. Within a global community a common platform would allow for the sharing of best practices and maximize learning opportunities. From a research and evaluation perspective, much work has been conducted and disseminated in the United States and could serve as transferable models for these efforts. By examining models from around the world, we can begin to consolidate, optimize, and disseminate the global benefits of D&I. In this work, various programs are reviewed as success cases because they have increased the numbers of underrepresented students who enroll in and graduate from STEM programs. The potential for solidarity amongst diversity & inclusion initiatives and programs in different regions of the world is explored. Efforts are made to determine what can be learned from synergies across D&I activities.
... Our interest in adapting individual elements of this model can be further substantiated by other researchers for each of our proposed dimensions of Technical (building technical skills) (Ann et al., 2009;Choe and Borrego, 2020), Social (peer-mentoring and networking) (Tull et al., 2012;Bottoms et al., 2013;Montgomery, 2017;Williams, 2018), Psychological (psychological safety) (Lyman et al., 2020;Soares and Lopes, 2020), Cultural (cultural resilience) (Espino et al., 2010;Julia et al., 2020), Career Identity (socialization within the profession) (Kim et al., 2018;Bentley et al., 2019), see Figure 1. ...
... Though institutions at the department level offer formal and informal programs for the development of future faculty, many are purely focused on the development of specific skills like teaching or the development of teaching philosophy and portfolios (Viall et al., 2008). Many students have shown that for BIPOC students, learning communities that address both the professional skill building as well as their unique experiences associated with their personal identity, can lead to higher retention rates (Tull et al., 2012;Drane et al., 2019). ...
Article
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At Michigan State University (MSU), the AGEP learning community features the participation of over 70% of the African-American, Latinx, and Native-American under-represented minorities (URM), also referred to as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) doctoral students in fields sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Monthly learning community (LC) meetings allow AGEP participants to create dialogues across disciplines through informal oral presentations about current research. The learning communities also offer opportunities to share key information regarding graduate school success and experience; thus providing a social network that extends beyond the academic setting. At MSU, AGEP also provides an interdisciplinary and multigenerational environment that includes graduate students, faculty members, post-docs and prospective graduate students. Using monthly surveys over a 4-year period, we evaluated the impact of this AGEP initiative focusing on the utility of the program, perceptions of departmental climate, career plans and institutional support. Findings indicate that AGEP participants consider their experiences in the program as vital elements in the development of their professional identity, psychological safety, and career readiness. Experiences that were identified included networking across departments, focus on career placement, involvement in minority recruitment and professional development opportunities. Additionally, AGEP community participants resonated with the “sense of community” that is at the core of the MSU AGEP program legacy. In this article, we proposed a variation of Tomlinson’s Graduate Student Capital model to describe the AGEP participants’ perceptions and experiences in MSU AGEP. Within this 4-year period, we report over 70% graduation rate (completing with advanced degrees). More than half of Ph.D. students and almost 30% of master’s degree students decided to pursue academia as their careers. In addition, we found a high satisfaction rate of AGEP among the participants. Our analysis on graduate student capital helped us identify motivating capital development by years spent at MSU and as an AGEP member. These findings may provide some insight into which capitals may be deemed important for students relative to their experiences at MSU and in AGEP and how their priorities change as they transition toward graduation.
... This program makes efforts on all levels to promote URM scholars from undergraduate degrees to doctoral degrees to faculty positions. The program recommends the professional development of graduate students that includes a critical mass of URMs and extends beyond experiences that are provided by courses and research laboratories [28]. The program believes that all of their graduate students should have accessible and functioning support systems to help them develop professional skills, network, get career advice, and strengthen their emotional well-being [28]. ...
... The program recommends the professional development of graduate students that includes a critical mass of URMs and extends beyond experiences that are provided by courses and research laboratories [28]. The program believes that all of their graduate students should have accessible and functioning support systems to help them develop professional skills, network, get career advice, and strengthen their emotional well-being [28]. This shows that having access to a vast number of diverse networks is just as important to the success of URM graduate students as their academic development. ...
... In 2003, UMBC was awarded NSF's Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) (hereafter referred to as PROMISE) grant, which was developed to support U.S. URM students in completion of their STEM doctorates and pursuing academic careers [8]. This wellknown program (formally known as PROMISE) formed an alliance with University of Baltimore (UMB) and University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) based on best practices that have been actualized by the Meyerhoff Undergraduate and Graduate programs. ...
... Furthermore, the PROMISE program is unique in that the grant was written as a collaborative effort but housed at UMBC--making UMBC the lead institution. Because it provided professional development for URM students across other institutions in the University System of Maryland (USM) schools and connected URM students to a larger critical mass of like-minded individuals [8], it was supported and valued by several neighboring USM schools. Given the centralized nature of the Graduate School and integrated culture at UMBC, it is no surprise that each program would be structured to have common goals and desired outcomes but provide support in different ways that complement each other. ...
... For instance, a pipeline might leak due to "punctures, " such as experiences of overt bias (e.g., Ferguson Martin et al., 2016;Clancy et al., 2017;Miner et al., 2017); "loose connections, " such as poor mentorprotégé matching (e.g., Buzzanell et al., 2015;Dennehy and Dasgupta, 2017); or "high pressure, " such as balancing research time with caretaker responsibilities (e.g., Grunert and Bodner, 2011;Sallee et al., 2016;Tower and Latimer, 2016). Finally, diagnosed leaks can be targeted so that the "plumbing" can be repaired using different approaches for populations facing different sorts of challenges (e.g., Tull et al., 2012;Wilson et al., 2012). For these interventions, the pipeline has typically been viewed at the institutional level, whether that institution is a university, professional society, or government; rhetorically, a key phrase invoked in efforts to reduce leakage is institutional transformation (e.g., Handelsman et al., 2007;Fox, 2008;Whittaker and Montgomery, 2014). ...
... Putting scientific training to this use is not a bad instinct, yet we should remain concerned that pipeline troubleshooting efforts have not been as successful as we have hoped. Institutional efforts can improve retention of students from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., Tull et al., 2012;Wilson et al., 2012), but these do not appear to be scaling up to the national level. The gap in the share of STEM and non-STEM degrees completed by underrepresented minorities has been growing during the past decade, indicating that these students preferentially choose against the sciences (National Science Foundation, 2017). ...
... The PROMISE participants, graduate students in the College of Engineering and Information Technology at UMBC, participate in professional development training through PROMISE, and are exposed to research projects through the QoLT. This collaboration continues to be a strong outreach component for the QoLT and a strong research connection for PROMISE (Goldberg, Milleville, Ding, Simmons, Brown, & Collins, 2012;Tull, Rutledge, Warnick, & Carter, 2012). ...
... pply to UMBC for graduate school and participate in programs sponsored by the PROMISE AGEP (e.g., preparing fellowship applications, improving public speaking, pathways to leadership), and QoLT graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University participate in professional development programs developed by PROMISE, e.g., the PROMISE Dissertation House (Tull, et. al, 2012.) Examples of two of the projects that UMBC's students have undertaken as summer students at the QoLT are as follows: ...
Conference Paper
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Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) formed an engineering education outreach collaboration to provide a summer research bridge for graduate students. The research "bridge" connects underrepresented minority graduate students in the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to the QoLT's research projects and mentors at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. This paper provides, as a case for the type of research that students undertake, a specific quality of life project conducted by a QoLT/PROMISE Bridge participant in Mechanical Engineering. For this project, the researchers dealt with a problem of the American Wheelchair Mission (AWM): failure of donated wheelchairs. The objective of the project was to develop a pilot program to improve the lifetime of assistive devices. The 4R model: Recycle, Reuse, Repair, and Retrofit, was chosen to complement areas of wheelchair mobility in Mexico for children with disabilities. The paper also includes examples of outcomes of successful participants in the collaborative. These examples are followed by suggestions for developing a collaborative engineering education outreach that can broaden participation of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
... The goal of this model is to immerse a group of students/faculty in a culture in another country through their participation in international engineering-based conferences. The participants are part of the PROMISE AGEP, 5 We wanted this experience to be documented on-site via a blog. We developed the "International Engagement & Broadening Participation in STEM Blog" that would include conversations on topics related to career-life balance and overcoming barriers to global collaborations. ...
... We also sought to learn more about how behaviors associated with mentoring relationships translate into socialization and community membership. Study participants are students who participate in the AGEP PROMISE Program, which is an NSF funded program serving graduate students within the University of Maryland System (for more on the history of PROMISE, please see Tull, Rutledge, Warnick & Carter, 2012). PROMISE offers financial resources, academic programming, mentorship, and support to facilitate the retention, success, and career development of underrepresented STEM graduate students and postdoctoral scholars throughout the University of Maryland System. ...
Chapter
Over the past decades, the promotion and training of young scientists has gained increasing political and scientific attention, especially due to the increasing awareness of the important role of academia in fostering innovation and eventually economic growth. Governments worldwide have launched initiatives aimed at increasing the efficiency of doctoral trainings, for instance, through the implementation of a more structured doctoral education. The implications from such changes for the socialization of young researchers is highly relevant as knowledge acquisition, investment and involvement are directly linked to their role identity and professional commitment. Focusing on the developments in doctoral education in Germany, this chapter discusses effects of the emergence of structured doctoral education on the socialization processes of young researchers following the framework of Weidman et al. (ASHE-ERIC High Educ Rep 28, 3, 2001). The chapter thereby contrasts the structured approach to doctoral education with the traditional model in Germany, which was characterized by a chair-based, one-on-one relationship between doctoral students and a supervising professor. We conclude that a continued promotion of structured doctoral education provides a wide set of benefits, but that structured doctoral education complements rather than substitutes chair- or research group-based training. When properly designed, structured as well as non-structured concepts have great potential to complement each other to ultimately improve the quality of doctoral education.
... For example, the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) is a program that was developed to improve pathways to the professoriate for underrepresented minoritized (URM) doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. With efforts to increase the number of URMs in STEM disciplines and STEM education research fields, AGEP supports the development and implementation of innovative models of doctoral education, postdoctoral training, and faculty advancement while advancing the knowledge of the underlying issues, policies and practices that impact career trajectories of URMs in the STEM disciplines (Tull, Rutledge, Carter, & Warnick, 2012). ...
Article
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Aim/Purpose: We sought to understand factors that dissuade engineering and computing doctoral students in the United States from pursuing a career in the professoriate. Background: Many PhD students start the doctoral process excited about the possibility of becoming a professor. After a few years of doctoral education, however, many become less interested in academic careers or even come to loathe the idea of a faculty position. Methodology: Participants in a larger study (N = 744) completed a comprehensive survey about their educational experiences and career aspirations. This study focused on a subset of these respondents (n = 147), who indicated they did not want to pursue faculty positions and explained their reasoning with a brief open-ended response. We coded these open-ended responses. Contribution: We found a general lack of interest in the professoriate and disgust over the associated pressure-filled norms and culture; this aversion is the article’s focus. Respondents were critical of institutional norms that emphasize research (e.g., stress related to grant writing, publishing and promotion as junior faculty) and described their own experiences as PhD students. Findings: Findings support rethinking the outdated faculty model and interchanging it with healthier and more holistic approaches. Recommendations for Practitioners: These approaches might include advocating for and emphasizing the contributions of research, teaching, and professional excellence as well as removing the secrecy and toxicity of tenure and promotion that discourage individuals from becoming the next generation of engineering and computing educators and knowledge makers. Recommendation for Researchers: Future researchers should explore in greater depth the extent to which junior faculty’s experiences in the professoriate influence doctoral students’ and postdoctoral scholars’ attitudes toward working in academia. To the extent that this is the case, researchers should then explore ways of improving faculty experiences, in addition to improving doctoral students’ experiences that are unrelated to their socialization. Impact on Society: Having a deeper understanding of the reasons why some doctoral engineering and computing students are uninterested in the professoriate is critical for removing barriers toward becoming faculty. Future Research: Researchers should explore the factors that would improve doctoral students’ perceptions of the professoriate, and better understand how they might disproportionately affect members of historically underrepresented groups. Keywords Doctoral programs, Engineering and Computing, Academic Careers
... Data demonstrate that the PROMISE alliance has experienced success with recruitment, retention, and [4], [5], [6], and [7]. The institutional commitment to diversity also includes programming from the National Institutes of Health's Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program, primarily focusing on biomedical sciences, including biomedically-motivated research areas of engineering. ...
... Ali and Kohun (2007) suggest that, in graduate school, "meaningful relationship" might refer to a social contract among students as well as with faculty members. The DHM builds on lessons learned through the PROMISE program (Tull et al., 2012) on the importance of creating an environment of inclusiveness that promotes social support and connections. Moreover, the ongoing support of the dissertation coach and the online DH website blog help to reduce the sense of isolation well after the DH event ends. ...
Article
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The problem of PhD attrition, especially at the dissertation-writing stage, is not solely related to mentoring, departments, or disciplines; it is a problem that affects the entire institution. As such, solutions require collaborative efforts for student success. Building on Yeatman’s master–apprentice model, which assumes mastering disciplinary writing in singular advisor–student contexts, and Burnett’s collaborative cohort model, which introduced doctoral dissertation supervision in a collaborative-learning environment with several faculty mentors in a single discipline, the Dissertation House model (DHM) introduces a model of doctoral dissertation supervision that involves multiple mentors across several disciplines. On the basis of more than 200 students’ reflections, we find that challenges in completing the dissertation extend beyond departmental and disciplinary boundaries. The DHM’s multidisciplinary approach preserves the traditional master–apprentice relationship between faculty and students within academic departments while providing an additional support mechanism through interdisciplinary collaborative cohorts. Using Thoits’s coping assistance theory and data from DH students over a 10-year period, the DHM incorporates Hoadley’s concept of knowledge communities to establish a successful dissertation-writing intervention for graduate students across doctoral programs. Using propensity score analysis, we provide in this study an empirical assessment of the benefits and efficacy of the DHM. © 2016 W. Y. Carter-Veale et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education.
... Others have described supplemental peer mentoring programs and social networks to address protégés' needs for career development in a supportive, nonthreatening, and collaborative environment. 2,[11][12][13] These studies describe some of the important characteristics of effective mentoring, but little theoretically based, empirical evidence is available to demonstrate which mentoring or mentor training approaches are most likely to be successful for academics from underrepresented groups. 14 Self-determination theory (SDT) is a macro theory of human motivation with strong empirical support [15][16][17] that may help to address these mentoring challenges. ...
Article
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Purpose: To conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of different mentoring interventions on the basic psychological need satisfaction of underrepresented minorities and women in academia. Method: Participants were 150 mentor/protégé dyads from three academic medical centers and eight other colleges and universities in western and central New York, randomized from 2010 to 2013 into mentor training (using principles of self-determination theory); peer mentoring for protégés; mentor training and peer mentoring for protégés combined; or control/usual practice. Protégé participants were graduate students, fellows, and junior faculty who were from underrepresented groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, or disability.The primary analysis was a comparison of intervention effects on changes in protégés' satisfaction of their basic psychological needs (competence, autonomy, and relatedness) with their mentor. They completed a well-validated, online questionnaire every two months for one year. Results: There was no significant effect at the end of one year of either mentor training or peer mentoring on protégés' psychological basic need satisfaction with mentor specifically or at work in general. Exploratory analyses showed a significant effect of the mentor-based intervention on the protégés' overall psychological need satisfaction with their mentor at two months, the time point closest to completing mentor training. Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial showed a potential short-term effect of mentor training on changing basic psychological need satisfaction of underrepresented scholars with their mentors. Despite the lack of sustained effect of either mentor training or peer mentoring, these short-term changes suggest feasibility and potential for future study.
... The PROMISE AGEP has a number of programs that are designed to recruit, cultivate, retain, and train underrepresented graduate students in STEM fields. PROMISE programs such as The Dissertation House, and the Summer Success Institute (SSI) have been pivotal interventions that contribute to degree completion and a sense of community that even involves members of students' families as stakeholders [5,6,7,8,9]. ...
Conference Paper
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Issues related to career-life balance (CLB) disproportionally affect women in STEM. These issues disrupt women's career pathways, and in many cases, push them out of academia. In order to halt the exodus of women from academic careers in STEM, universities must develop interventions around CLB that recognize and address the everyday gendered CLB challenges that women graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty face. This paper showcases narratives from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) international CLB initiative with underrepresented STEM faculty and graduate students that set the stage for the development of three additional CLB projects. The results of the former international project inform the partial implementation of the expansion projects at UMBC, which include: 1) Accelerating Post-Leave Associate Professor, Advancement through Intensive Support at Critical Junctions, 2) a campus-wide CLB awareness campaign and, 3) campus-wide CLB educational workshops. Through this outreach-centered paper, anchored in existing best practices and first person narratives of CLB struggles at UMBC, we aim to spur conversations and provide a model for other institutions to weave CLB into the fabric of university culture as a normalized and cherished community value.
... The goal of this model is to immerse a group of students/faculty in a culture in another country through their participation in international engineering-based conferences. The participants are part of the PROMISE AGEP, 5 We wanted this experience to be documented on-site via a blog. We developed the "International Engagement & Broadening Participation in STEM Blog" that would include conversations on topics related to career-life balance and overcoming barriers to global collaborations. ...
... Founded in late 2002, with programmatic activities beginning in 2003, the PROMISE AGEP was led by one of the universities that had special emphases on diverse student recruitment and retention in STEM fields, with partnerships with the state's flagship campus, and the medical campus. 2 These schools, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), are institutions within the University System of Maryland. The effort to broaden the participation of the AGEP was initially viewed as an anomaly, as programs that are designed to attend to students in science, technology, engineering, and math, are generally restricted to those disciplines. ...
Conference Paper
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The National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program focuses on increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities (URM) who will get STEM PhDs and go on to become professors. While typically serving students within STEM fields, the AGEP for our state has broadened its reach to include participants from various disciplines. Our activities engage students from engineering along with those from science, education, and the humanities, and we open professional development activities to graduate students from all backgrounds, races, and cultures. This level of inclusion provides a sense of community and critical mass of scholars for the URM STEM students. However, this practice of including people from several backgrounds and disciplines in the AGEP’s activities has yielded an interesting and unintended effect on the career trajectories of the non-STEM participants. All participants are educated on issues of STEM, and needs within the engineering education community. The non-STEM participants also contribute to forming engineering pipelines, teach in engineering programs in magnet schools, mentor engineering and IT undergraduates, and develop engineering teaching and learning research thrusts with faculty colleagues! AGEP non-STEM alumni examples include a sociologist who is a mentor and advocate for computer science training at her current institution, a curriculum and instruction professor who is a Co-PI on engineering projects with her colleagues, a professor in education who studies engineering career preparation, and one of the authors of this paper who mentors engineering and IT faculty in teaching. Our conceptual framework is based on McMillan and Chavis’ 1986 Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC), which examines membership, influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connections. We propose that the AGEP’s adherence to the PSOC model provides a community psychology perspective on factors that influence our non-STEM participants to become engineering educators. Examples include concepts of “bondedness,” being connected to other members of the community, and “rootedness,” commitment to staying within the community. We also examine the sense of community construct of “neighborhoods,” e.g., the length of anticipated time that a resident stays in a region. In our case, the “region” is the field of engineering education. There is also discussion of “safety” and its relation to wanting to know others in the community, and “have needs met.” Our phenomenological study asks questions of 10 non-STEM AGEP alumni who serve as representative informants to examine the AGEP’s allowances for connection with students from engineering disciplines, the program’s influence on their sense of commitment to the AGEP program and their non-STEM discipline, their feelings of safety (physical, psychological, emotional, professional) as they participated, the extent to which they provide a safe atmosphere for those whom they now mentor, and how the AGEP met their needs. Our unintended, positive discoveries demonstrate “transformative change” (Matusovich, Paretti, McNair & Hixson, 2014), in which the interplay between educational research and practice via exposure to STEM development programs has led to cross-disciplinary skills, relationships, and mentorship that benefit engineering education. We will discuss implications of our discoveries for future mentorship models.
... 4 This has been possible because the National Science Foundation (NSF), provides a great number of programs that help develop international opportunities and research for graduate students. Therefore, in partnership with the NSF, the PROMISE AGEP, 5 The Graduate School at UMBC, and UMBC's Office of Postdoctoral Affairs have developed a series of workshops that will help and inform students who would like to pursue a globally focus career in technology or engineering. ...
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In our globalized world, we need professionals who can adapt to the interaction of cultures and countries. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in organizations that have a global or international focus need to be culturally competent. Cultural competence (the ability to interact effectively with people from other cultures and socio-economic backgrounds) can be achieved through interactions with colleagues and people from other cultures, and through experiences abroad. Our university's Graduate Student Development unit has added workshops on international career opportunities and preparation for working in other countries through our graduate student professional development workshop series. The Graduate School, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and PROMISE: Maryland’s National Science Foundation's Alliance the Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) co-sponsor these activities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. The PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation (AGEP-T) project is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of PhD graduates in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with a focus on developing a new generation of professors. Our goal for 2014 is to provide graduate students with more experiences that go beyond a traditional undergraduate studentbased study abroad program. We seek to develop programs that open doors outside of the U.S. to provide graduate students w with groups of experiences that will lead to international job opportunities and long-term research collaborations
... 4 This has been possible because the National Science Foundation (NSF), provides a great number of programs that help develop international opportunities and research for graduate students. Therefore, in partnership with the NSF, the PROMISE AGEP, 5 The Graduate School at UMBC, and UMBC's Office of Postdoctoral Affairs have developed a series of workshops that will help and inform students who would like to pursue a globally focus career in technology or engineering. ...
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Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and he is currently completing his PhD in Instructional Design & Technology with a certificate in Learning Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research interests focus on informal and collaborative learning, professional development, STEM edu-cation, intercultural training, e-portfolios best practices, and training evaluation and measurement. He has had the opportunity to present at regional, national, and international conferences his works and collabo-rations in these areas. In the field of e-learning and development, he has collaborated with organizations such as Johns Hopkins, Special Olympics, and the Graduate School at UMBC. Currently, he is one of the members of the Learning Transformation Research Group at Virginia Tech. In addition, Mr. Nino is a certified public translator, conference interpreter, and copywriter. In 2011, he founded Surplus Solutions, offering a wide variety of solutions to businesses, including technical translations and training facilitation. Abstract In our globalized world, we need professionals who can adapt to the interaction of cultures and countries. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in organizations that have a global or international focus need to be culturally competent. Cultural competence (the ability to interact effectively with people from other cultures and socio-economic backgrounds) can be achieved through interactions with colleagues and people from other cultures, and through experiences abroad. Our university's Graduate Student Development unit has added workshops on international career opportunities and preparation for working in other countries through our graduate student professional development workshop series. The Graduate School, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and PROMISE: Maryland's National Science Foundation's Alliance the Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) co-sponsor these activities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. The PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation (AGEP-T) project is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of PhD graduates in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with a focus on developing a new generation of professors. Our goal for 2014 is to provide graduate students with more experiences that go beyond a traditional undergraduate student-based study abroad program. We seek to develop programs that open doors outside of the U.S. to provide graduate students w with groups of experiences that will lead to international job opportunities and long-term research collaborations. Introduction As the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC: An Honors University in Maryland) began to offer more professional development programs through the Graduate Student Professional Development Unit, graduate student polls revealed that students were becoming more interested in learning more about global opportunities. Upon investigation, we learned that available Study Abroad programs were generally focused on undergraduate students. Further, many of our graduate students in engineering and other STEM fields had not had Study Abroad experiences as undergraduate students, and given the structure of graduate research programs and decreasing funding mechanisms, there were very few opportunities for graduate students to engage in international activities while pursuing an M.S. or Ph.D. Some graduate students have been able to attend international conferences, but the few opportunities have often been limited to only a few individuals. To address the growing interest in learning more about global opportunities, our graduate school partnered with the PROMISE: Maryland's National Science Foundation's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) for our state, to begin to develop internationally-focused activities that would serve STEM graduate students, broaden participation by including students from underrepresented backgrounds, empower graduate students to establish international relationships that could stimulate research collaborations, and foster networks that could lead to short-term or long-term career opportunities in the professoriate.
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