CSUN is partnering with The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions on HSI Pathways to the Professoriate, which is supported by a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The program aims to prepare undergraduate students in the humanities and related fields to pursue a career in the professoriate by providing programming that prepares them for admission to and persistence through a Ph.D. program. The grant supports research into the faculty pipeline for Latina/o students and has an aim of increasing the number of Latina/o professors working in the humanities at U.S. colleges and universities.
Over the next five years, we will prepare 30 CSUN students for a Ph.D. program in the humanities or a related field. They will receive extensive support here at CSUN:They will be matched with an HSI Pathways/Mellon Faculty Mentor at CSUN, who will meet with them regularly to support the Student Fellow’s preparation for graduate school;
- They will attend programming throughout the academic year related to graduate student success;
- They will receive support through the application process, including preparation for the GRE;
- They will attend a six-week Summer Seminar (room, board, and stipend supplied) to immerse themselves in the process of building skill sets necessary to success in a Ph.D. program;
- They will take part in an intensive research program and will participate in cross-institutional conferences.
The HSI Pathways/Mellon Student Fellows will be connected online with the HSI Pathways Mellon Student Fellows at the other two participating HSI campuses (The University of Texas at El Paso and Florida International University) and will have the opportunity to connect with HSI Pathways/Mellon Faculty Mentors on those campuses and in graduate programs at the five participating Majority Research Institutions (University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis). CSUN’s Student Fellows will receive support in their transition to graduate school, and will continue their mentoring with a faculty member at their graduate campus.
This program comes as colleges and universities across the United States are trying, and often struggling, to develop a faculty that reflects the nation’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity. Latina/os make up only 4.1 percent of the professoriate in the United States, but 20 percent of the population aged 18-44. “This is not a problem that can be fixed overnight,” says Marybeth Gasman, director of the Center for MSIs and Project Lead for HSI Pathways to the Professoriate. “We see this program as a way to begin a fundamental change. We hope this creates a strong pathway to graduate school for Latino students that will grow over time, with these students supporting one another, and one day becoming mentors themselves.”
Throughout the grant, the Penn Center for MSIs will be conducting assessments of student progress in an attempt to, as Gasman states, “find the leaks in the pipeline.” CSUN will also assess student progress in an attempt to learn what programming could especially benefit other CSUN students interested in joining the professoriate.