University of Southern California’s New Program to Boost Diversity in STEM Graduate Education

The Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California has started a new project that aims to address issues that hinder the participation and success of underrepresented students in STEM. The project is funded by a $10 million award form the National Science Foundation, with $1.5 million directed to the Pullias Center for Higher Education in the Rossier School.

As part of the project, the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) will partner the university with over 30 professional organizations to increase diversity in STEM doctoral degrees. The alliance plans to use collaborative efforts to enhance the college’s recruitment and application process, holistic admissions, retention and bridge programs, professional development, intervention programs, and research.

Julie Posselt, an assistant professor of higher education at the Rossier School and the principal investigator on the project stated that “around the country, we see STEM faculty who know culture change is needed in graduate education to reduce inequities in the scientific workforce. But they often need guidance, community or incentives. IGEN will make it possible for departments, disciplines, universities, national labs, and corporations to work together and rethink business as usual — from application and admissions all the way through to support for entering the job market.”

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