The Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) provides support to undertake an institutional self-analysis and conduct research in preparation for a Broadening Participation Research Center. Broadening Participation Research Centers are expected to serve as a national hub for the rigorous study and broad dissemination of the critical pedagogies and culturally sensitive interventions that contribute to the success of HBCUs in educating African American STEM undergraduates. The BPRC Planning project at Virginia State University seeks to build a system of sustained academic enrichment programs that will allow students, particularly those who are under-represented in STEM fields, to enter a series of coordinated interventions while in elementary school and exit them when in college. While matriculating throughout the program, students will be given opportunities to use their skills and experiences to give back to their community. The focus of the interventions with each grade level cohort will also be to encourage the best and brightest to become Math and Science teachers themselves.<br/><br/>The Center for STEM Education is a multi-tiered teacher and mentoring development program for teachers and students at every stage of learning and readiness. The cornerstone of the Center for STEM Education approach is the preK-16 model that pairs HBCUs with local school districts. The Center for STEM Education is designed to develop student interest, motivation, and persistence in STEM disciplines and to cultivate effective teaching and mentoring skills at all levels of development. This program will expose students, teachers, university faculty, mentors, education administrators, and community stakeholders to a variety of year-round community engagement and summer enrichment programing. The training is designed to increase the motivation and persistence of students in STEM disciplines and enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning in those disciplines. The target audience are students from schools where most students routinely score in the bottom achievement quartile of state-mandated standardized tests. This project will mobilize a potential army of supporters with the same objective as the school system: increasing standardized test scores, particularly in math and science. In addition, this project has the added benefit of eventually developing well-trained math and science teachers that are willing, able and committed to work in those very school districts. The interventions at each grade level will also be designed to address the key psychosocial and cognitive factors that have been revealed by our research to impact STEM learning in African American students.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.