Bridge to the Doctorate (BTD): Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP) BTD Cohort XII (2016-2018) Program
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The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in diversifying the STEM workforce through the development of highly competitive students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines. The goal of the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) activity is to increase the quantity and quality of STEM graduate students from underrepresented populations, with emphasis on Ph.D. matriculation and completion. The primary aim of the proposed Cohort XII 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 Texas A&M University (TAMU) and create a cohesive community of graduate students across different disciplines within the university. The 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 place as leaders in interdisciplinary research and in academia. The broad significance of TAMUS LSAMP BTD is to increase participation of URM groups in STEM by providing opportunities and activities at the graduate levels that lead to educational and career enhancements of URM graduate students. Between 2008 and 2018 the number of jobs in the STEM field is expected to increase by 1.33 million from 7.64 million which represents a growth of 17% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nov. 2009 Monthly Labor Review). By increasing the number of URM students that ultimately enter the STEM workforce, TAMUS LSAMP BTD is able to increase the economy, prosperity, and welfare of the nation. 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), the Dwight Look College of Engineering (COE), the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS), and the College of Geosciences (COG) at TAMU. Twelve first-time graduate students from URM groups, in five departments in COS, fourteen in COE, fourteen in COALS, and four 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.