Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS-LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate (BTD) Cohort IX Program
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The primary aim of the proposed Cohort XI Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate (BTD) program is to increase the pool of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) PhDs among underrepresented minority (URM) groups at TAMU and to create a cohesive community of graduate students across different disciplines within the university. Our goal is to foster academic success in a cohort of first-time URM STEM graduate students, by developing their readiness and encouraging eagerness to complete STEM doctoral degrees and by preparing them to take their places as leaders in interdisciplinary research and in academia. As such, objectives to carry out the program''s goals include (1) retention of fellows into doctoral programs with funding after completion of the NSF BTD program, (2) preparation to meet the challenges of completing doctoral programs of study and for possible academic careers in higher education, and (3) leadership skill development necessary to succeed as young URM professionals upon completion of doctoral programs of study. This will be achieved through collaborations among the College of Science (COS), College of Engineering (COE), the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS), and the College of Geosciences (COG) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Twelve first-time graduate students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups, in five departments in the COS, 12 in COE, 14 in COALS, and 5 in COG will be selected as BTD fellows. The Fellows will be nurtured for two years as a cohorted community benefiting from a program of academic and personal development activities and social support, to sustain their commitment and success to their degree programs and advancement toward doctoral programs by the end of their second year. The BTD students, with differing STEM disciplines and a common purpose, will share coordinated resources and intellectually enriching group activities with each other, and also with the larger population of STEM, minority and other graduate students at TAMU, to the benefit of all. Beyond the intellectual impact of BTD, the program will enhance the infrastructure of research and education by advancing pursuit of graduate and doctoral STEM degrees.