In this chapter, we present our ongoing efforts in developing and sustaining interdisciplinary STEM undergraduate programs at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) – a state-supported HBCU and National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Institutional Implementation Project grantee. Through three rounds of NSF HBCU-UP implementation grants, a concerted effort has been made in developing interdisciplinary STEM undergraduate research programs in geophysical and environmental science (in round 1), geospatial, computational, and information science (in round 2), and mathematical and computational biology (in round 3) on NCA&T campus. We first present a brief history and background information about the interdisciplinary STEM undergraduate research programs developed and sustained at NCA&T, giving rationales on how these programs had been conceived, and summarizing what have been achieved. Next we give a detailed description on the development of undergraduate research infrastructure including building research facilities through multiple and leveraged funding sources, and engaging a core of committed faculty mentors and research collaborators. We then present, as case studies, some sample interdisciplinary research projects in which STEM undergraduate students were engaged and project outcomes. Successes associated to our endeavor in developing undergraduate research programs as well as challenges and opportunities on implementing and sustaining these efforts are discussed. Finally, we discuss the impact of well-structured undergraduate research training on student success in terms of academic performance, graduation rate and continuing graduate study, and summarize many of the learnings we have gained from implementation and delivery of undergraduate research experiences at HBCUs.
Guoqing Tang’s work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant HRD-1036299. Caesar R. Jackson’s work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant HRD-1238547.
Tang, G. and Jackson, C.R. (2015), "Evolution and Impact of Interdisciplinary STEM Undergraduate Research Programs at North Carolina A&T State University", Infusing Undergraduate Research into Historically Black Colleges and Universities Curricula (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 11-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-364420150000017002Download as .RIS
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