HBCU-UP Collaborative for the Advancement of STEM Leadership
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) has identified evidence-based leadership and professional development of faculty as one of its priorities and is committed to funding innovative models to enhance the understanding of the barriers that hinder and factors that enhance our ability to broaden participation in STEM. With support from the National Science Foundation, the Collaborative for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) aims to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM through a targeted focus on leadership. This collaborative project embraces a more expanded position of creating new knowledge about the relationship between leadership and broadening participation, and transferring that knowledge into institutional practices that can be promulgated through a national community of practice. Initially, the impact of the Collaborative will be among select HBCUs, but, because of its broad reach into mainstream STEM reform communities, these efforts will eventually impact all institutional types and address the growing need for quality leadership for broadening participation in STEM. As a result, tens of thousands of underrepresented minority STEM students, enrolled at both HBCUs and non-HBCU campuses, will experience the kind of academic environments that are most conducive to their learning and persisting as STEM majors.
The goal of CASL is to establish the foundational tenets of the research and practice of leadership for broadening participation in STEM. The Collaborative will achieve this mission through: 1) research activities that will contribute to an increased knowledge base on leadership development for broadening participation in STEM; 2) knowledge translation activities that will use an evidence-based approach to leadership development to increase the number of HBCU leaders with culturally responsive competencies and capacities; and 3) outreach activities that will develop a national Community of Practice to define, codify, and promulgate design principles and practices for broadening participation and thereby increase the visibility/influence of HBCUs at the center of STEM higher education reform. The distributed structure of the Collaborative lends itself to the development and sustainability of an integrated discovery analytical framework that serves two primary purposes: 1) it provides robustness and flexibility in facilitating exploratory and emergent lines of inquiry that directly address research questions about the relationship between leadership and broadening participation in STEM; and 2) it facilitates an iterative and dynamic approach by supporting the integration of new insights and research questions that emerge over the project's duration into the Collaborative's ongoing activities, and vice versa.