(Carson, CA) – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) a three-year, $332,133 grant to develop a collaborative, strengths-based training program that addresses improving retention and tenure for early-career, underrepresented minority faculty in STEM fields.
Titled “The AGEP California State University Underrepresented Minority STEM Faculty Alliance Model: A Culturally-Informed Strengths-Based Approach to Advance Early-Career Faculty Success,” the research program was developed through CSUDH’s Faculty Development Center, which will take the lead in the grant’s implementation across four California State Universities (CSU) campuses: CSUDH; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Cal Poly Pomona; and Fresno State.
“With this grant, we aspire to improve faculty retention on campus, especially in STEM fields,” said Kara Z. Dellacioppa, director of CSUDH’s Faculty Development Center and principal investigator of the grant. “This grant might be one of the flashpoints for making CSUDH the ideal CSU campus for underrepresented minority faculty in STEM, and beyond.”
Each campus will develop a training program for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty that focuses on helping junior faculty members harness their culturally-informed strengths and identity. The programs will include mentoring, peer coaching and networking, grant proposal writing, and will be studied, evaluated, and scaled throughout.
During the first year of the pilot program, four senior and 16 junior STEM faculty members from each alliance campus will receive strengths-based training to become coaches. During the second year, the program will expand to the entire 23-campus CSU system with each alliance member responsible for recruiting four participants and one coach from four or five campuses in its region to participate in the program during the third year.
In the CSU system, only 17.4 percent of faculty – and just 12.1 percent of STEM faculty – are from traditionally underrepresented groups.