UMBC Selected to Participate in Study on Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Doctoral Programs


Published: Mar 15, 2012

Today the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) announced that UMBC is one of 21 graduate schools selected to participate in a study to examine completion and attrition among underrepresented minorities in STEM doctoral programs. The project, is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF.) and will compare data across a diverse set of institutions, including some that have been funded by NSF’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program. The purpose of this research is to better understand the factors that promote successful completion and the policies and practices that hold promise for increasing completion and reducing attrition. Each institution will receive $30,000 in funding to participate.

As part of the study UMBC will:

  • Collect and report completion and attrition data for all underrepresented minority students entering STEM doctoral programs in academic years 1992-93 through 2011-12.
  • Complete and submit data on program characteristics and policies, practices, and interventions that might impact completion and attrition for all STEM Ph.D. programs offered by the institution.
  • Field a web-based student survey, developed by CGS, covering a set of topics addressing completion and attrition in STEM doctoral programs.
  • Host a two-day site visit for CGS project staff to conduct focus groups with students and interviews with graduate deans, faculty, and other university personnel.
  • Highlight the institution’s participation in this effort by taking part in national discussions on the topic of Ph.D. completion (e.g., at CGS Annual Meetings and/or Summer Workshop sessions).

The projected release date of the study’s findings is June, 2014.

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