A Bridge to the PhD for URM Students
Keywords: Graduate, Race/Ethnicity
A five-year NSF-funded National Research Traineeship features a unique partnership between a large research university and a historically black college/university (HBCU). This presentation will describe a component of the traineeship that serves as a bridge to the doctorate in engineering and mathematical science programs for underrepresented minority master’s degree candidates in physics and mathematics. Bridge trainees participate with doctoral trainees in all elements of the traineeship program, including seminars on selected technical and professional skills, multidisciplinary coursework, faculty-student research groups, laboratory rotations, internships, and mentoring of students by individual faculty members and faculty teams. Faculty advisors at the HBCU and the program coordinator from the research university work cooperatively to structure and provide additional professional development to the bridge trainees, including sessions on succeeding in graduate school and applying successfully to PhD programs once their master’s degree programs have been completed. Connections between the faculty and students at the HBCU and the research university have been strong, with seminars and research group meetings being held regularly at each institution and both doctoral and bridge trainees regularly presenting their research.
The presentation and paper will provide an overview of the bridge program, give specific details about the involvement of the HBCU students in the traineeship program elements, and summarize evaluation data and lessons learned in the first two years of the program.
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