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T-PAC Alliance

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The Tuskegee Alliance to Forge Pathways to Academic Careers (T-PAC) is a collaborative effort among three doctoral granting institutions in the state of Alabama, two Historically Black Universities, Tuskegee University (TU) as the lead institution, and Alabama State University (ASU); a Traditionally White Institution, Auburn University (AU); and two supporting partners, AU’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and AU’s Miller Writing Center.

Goal

The goal of the T-PAC Alliance is to develop a promising novel model for successful STEM graduate education and careers in the STEM professoriate. This model specifically targets subgroups of the population which are underrepresented in the STEM fields (underrepresented minorities or URMs), including African Americans, Hispanic Americans/Latino, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Four Specific Goals Characterized by a Set of Objectives:

Goal 1. Establish a systemic model that promotes community and joint mentorship of URM students across the alliance institutions (TU, ASU, and AU).

Objectives under this goal: Recruit URM graduate scholars for the T-PAC program, assign T-PAC scholars into cohorts, assign a faculty mentor and a peer leader to each cohort, create virtual social networking resources, create assessment instruments to measure T-PAC scholars’ academic achievement and attitudes towards graduate school and careers in the STEM professoriate at critical juncture points.

Goal 2. Identify mitigating factors to persistence of URMs in STEM graduate programs and initiate a cross-collaborative model that provides academic, social, and emotional support to facilitate persistence and completion of graduate programs, as well as successful transitions into STEM academic careers.

Objectives under this goal: Assess students attitudes towards graduate school, engage students in online academic and social support, form learning communities, prepare scholars for proficiency in technical writing, direct T-PAC scholars to networking opportunities through active participation in professional meetings and conferences, assess T-PAC scholars’ academic achievement, interest, and attitude towards graduate school and pursuit of STEM academic careers.

Goal 3. Initiate strategies that provide faculty mentors and advisors with tools for promoting retention and preparation for STEM faculty positions of URM STEM graduate students.

Objectives under this goal: Prepare faculty mentors, faculty advisors and peer leaders through strategic mentoring workshops, engage T-PAC scholars in cross-Alliance STEM research experiences, train TPAC scholars for proficiency in literature searching and technical writing, assist T-PAC scholars, mentors, and advisors in the preparation of joint scientific presentations and proposal development.

Goal 4. Define STEM identity for URMs in STEM graduate programs and the impact that STEM identity has on engagement, motivation, persistence, and STEM faculty career selection

Objectives under this goal: Provide sustained mentorship and support mechanisms, create awareness of the STEM Professoriate, provide critical STEM teaching experiences, provide intensive professional development experiences evaluate T-PAC scholars’ attitudes and beliefs towards careers in the STEM Professoriate as they progress through the program.

 

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