The INCLUDES award to the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network will focus on building STEM research and teaching capacity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). HBCUs and TCUs share the impact of disparities that affect their communities and are constantly seeking STEM research and education solutions to engage students and prepare them to be fully involved in developing innovative and effective remedies that will address these disparities. The QEM Design & Development Launch Pilot (DDLP) Project is a collaboration that will provide an underpinning for broadening the participation of institutions involved in improving the enrollment and retention of minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). To be competitive in a future global economy, the Nation must make a larger investment in the STEM education of its underrepresented groups, including, males and persons with disabilities. Failure to make such an investment can weaken our STEM infrastructure and inhibit the continuity of the Nation as a world leader in STEM.
The project's initial partners consisted of five HBCUs (Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore) and two TCUs (Aaniiih Nakoda College and United Tribes Technical College), and The Tribal Nations Research Group. The project's aim is to expand to 12 institutions as well as adding business/industry partners and STEM-focused professional societies. In 2017, the number of partners has increased to ten. Lawson State Community College has been added to increase the number of HBCUs to six. College of Menominee Nation and The Engineering and Engineering Technology Program, at Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute has been added to increase Tribal College Partners to four.
The goals of the DDLP project are to: (1) build and sustain an alliance to increase the participation of African Americans and Native Americans in STEM education, research, and the workforce; (2) strengthen the STEM research, instructional, and mentoring capacities of partner HBCUs and TCUs; and (3) develop and promote broadening participation (BP) practices to address academic and professional career needs of African American and Native American males to significantly increase their representation in STEM. The QEM DDLP will implement evidence-based and data-driven approaches to developing research, education, and mentoring activities that can be tailored to institutional needs and context. The resulting outcome will be an increase in the capacities of HBCUs and TCUs in STEM that will position these institutions for sustained contributions to national broadening participation initiatives.