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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 included: Arkansas State University, Philander Smith College and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The Bridging The Divide Program, commonly referred to as the Bridge program, increased 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 was 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.

Videos from Bridging The Divide student participants over the years can be found on the Arkansas NSF EPSCoR YouTube Channel.

Program activities included: engaging faculty and students at partnering institutions in training workshops; conducting an eight-week summer research program for URM junior and senior undergraduates; recruiting and supporting URM students in the Masters programs; and recruiting and supporting URM students enrolled in Masters programs to pursue Ph.D. programs through financial, academic, and social mentoring support.