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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) â€…
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) â€“ 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.
The need to maintain global competitiveness makes it clear that the United States must increase the participation in STEM fields by African Americans males. Historically…
The need to maintain global competitiveness makes it clear that the United States must increase the participation in STEM fields by African Americans males. Historically, national security and economic status in a global economy has relied primarily on technological superiority; however, U.S. dominance in this regard is eroding. Data from the National Science Board (NSB) show that in the United States, from 1950 to 2000, the number of people in the science and technology workforce has dramatically increased approximately 200,000 to 5.5 million or more (Galama & Hosek, 2008). During that period, the average annual growth rate for S&E occupations was consistently higher than that for all U.S. workers. Further, employment needs for all S&E fields grew faster than U.S. degree production over the same period. As reported by the NSB, while the number of workers in S&E occupations in the United States grew at an average rate of 4.2% from 1980 to 2000, the S&E degree production in the United States grew only at a rate of 1.5%. To offset the shortage of supply versus demand, the S&E marketplace responded to that difference between degree production and occupation growth by employing individuals in S&E jobs who did not have S&E degrees. Additionally, some of that void was filled by employing foreign S&E workers.