STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

2017 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute I

Founded in 1996, the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute offers more than 20 years of experience in leadership development for STEM faculty. This Institute is designed for both early- and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The five-day intensive Institute provides faculty participants with the theory and practice required to effectively manage the politics of change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort.

Nearly sixty percent of the Institute’s leadership curriculum is grounded in the major tenets of experiential learning, including the new diversity simulation, My Tenure Trek™ (MTT). This unique professional development tool guides participants through a simulated tenure process that is representative of colleagues whose lived experiences and cultures are distinctly different from their own. MTT™ is designed to awaken and sensitize emerging STEM leaders to the influences of power and privilege within higher education, and to create broad awareness about microagressions and implicit biases, which undermine national attempts to diversify the STEM workforce.‚Äč

As a result, the Institute has proven effective in promoting leadership self-efficacy among its participants, with over sixty-five percent of Institute alumni noting a significant increase in their ability to: 1) facilitate change, 2) effectively respond to problems, and 3) fully consider the impacts of diverse cultures on institutional transformation.


The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland