Increasing Access and Retention for STEM Scholars From Underrepresented Groups

A new report from the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities examines best practices for increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

The report examines university efforts supporting access to, retention in, and progress to the professoriate for STEM faculty aspirants from underrepresented groups. In addition to convening academic experts and institutional leaders, the association surveyed member institutions about their practices to promote diversity in these areas.

Among the key findings of the study are:

◊ There are a wide variety of pathways to the STEM professoriate, including many non-traditional routes.

◊ Many universities have robust programs to support URG students during their undergraduate and graduate careers, but that support appears to diminish at the postdoctoral and early career faculty stages.

◊ While existing programs are serving immediate needs of individual students, the localistic and targeted focus of these programs display a limited impact on the most intractable challenges to diversifying the faculty.

◊ The lack of federal unit-level data frustrates efforts to follow aspirants to the STEM professoriate through the career pathways.

The full report, Strengthening Pathways to Faculty Careers in STEM: Recommendations for Systemic Change to Support Underrepresented Groups, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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