AAC&U Announces Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities Chosen to Participate in the Next Phase of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future Initiative

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Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the official award of $1.1M from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand the work of the Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF) initiative. The program supports women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to become strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines, and to stimulate redesigns of undergraduate STEM education at the participating colleges and universities. The program is funded by NSF’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). The five HBCUs were selected from among the 13 campuses that participated in the 2010–2011 cohort of the PCFF initiative.

PCFF 2 is anchored in the belief that respecting each HBCU’s deep cultural traditions, focusing on its mission of service to underrepresented communities, and building on its recognized strengths are the best strategies for strengthening the capacity to support higher levels of student success in STEM learning. Through collaborative planning with campus leaders in STEM and other areas, PCFF 2 participants will work to develop and implement STEM teaching and learning innovations designed to, at once, enhance student success and advance the leadership capacities of the women of color STEM faculty. By including non-STEM faculty as well as academic support and student life professionals in the planning and implementation process, PCFF 2 seeks broad campus engagement in efforts to enhance STEM learning outcomes, and increase the likelihood that changes will be adopted and sustained over time.

“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for giving AAC&U the opportunity to continue providing professional and STEM leadership development to women of color faculty members at HBCUs, and to work more intensively with institutions for STEM transformation,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “We also are delighted that this initiative connects both with our STEM reform efforts led by Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and with our work supporting women in higher education through our Program on the Status and Education of Women.”

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