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Bridging the Divide (Track 3)

Bridging the Divide: A Program to Broaden Participation in STEM PhD - NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 3

NSF EPSCoR Award Number: 1348389

Participating Institutions Include:

Arkansas State University, Philander Smith College and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. In the most recent Track 1 grant, funds were designated to expand this program to Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, and other institutions in Arkansas.

The Bridging The Divide Program, commonly referred to as the Bridge program, aims to increase the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in STEM graduate programs by providing academic, financial, and social support to foster sustained interest leading to success, modeled after the successful Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program (FVBP).

The Bridge Program is designed to broaden participation by increasing the number of students from groups underrepresented (low income first generation college going, disabled, veterans, racial and ethnic minorities) in STEM fields who wish to pursue a doctoral degree through bridging undergraduates to masters to Ph.D. in STEM fields.

The program focuses on increasing the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of URM, low-income, first-generation college students in interdisciplinary Masters-level programs in Environmental Sciences (EVS) and Molecular Biosciences (MBS) at ASUJ, and the Aquaculture and Fisheries (A&F) program at UAPB. Program activities include: (1) engaging faculty and students at partnering institutions in training workshops offered at ASUJ by a FVBP team, and diversity training by the Director of the Office of Diversity at ASUJ; (2) conducting an eight-week summer research program for URM junior and senior undergraduates at ASUJ and UAPB; (3) recruiting and supporting URM students in the EVS, MBS, and A&F Masters programs; and (4) recruiting and supporting URM students enrolled in the Masters programs to pursue Ph.D. programs at ASUJ and UAPB through financial, academic, and social mentoring support. These activities provide undergraduates with research experiences, build strong relationships between undergraduate peers and their faculty mentors, and inform students about the academic and financial aspects of graduate schools. Through these activities, the program aims to reduce barriers to URM participation at the graduate level of STEM education.

For more information about Bridging The Divide, contact:

Renee Carroll
Coordinator, Bridge Program
[email protected]
p: 870-680-4330 | f: 870-680-4347