Collaborative for Advancing STEM Leadership

The Collaborative, a critical feature of the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership, has as its mission to establish the foundational tenets of the research and practice of leadership for broadening participation in STEM. This unique collaboration between AAC&U and several prominent institutions of higher education – the University of the Virgin Islands, Fielding Graduate University, and North Carolina A&T University – serves to conduct research on proven HBCU leadership approaches that have broadened the participation of historically underrepresented groups in STEM. Our research tests the hypothesis that the success of HBCUs in broadening participation has been due, in large measure, to an identifiable set of leadership styles and strategies that may be transferable to other institution types. Unlike many other approaches to leadership studies, the Collaborative authentically and holistically considers the lived experiences of underrepresented minority groups in empowering leaders to envision, inspire, and transform institutional climates to achieve maximal inclusive excellence in the STEM disciplines. 

Utilizing the theoretical underpinnings and practical methodologies of leadership research and development, the Collaborative is uniquely poised to: play a critical role in increasing the visibility and influence of our nation’s HBCUs at the center of STEM higher education reform, influence mainstream STEM higher education reform, and establish leadership as quintessential to broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM.

Project Goals

The goals of the Collaborative are designed to substantially broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM through a series of evidence-based overlapping activities of leadership research and development that iteratively build upon each other and create an inexhaustible cycle of transformation.

  • Research: The Collaborative will generate a new knowledge base through the development of a robust and rigorous research portfolio focused on the relationship between leadership and broadening participation;
  • Knowledge Translation: The Collaborative will increase the number of HBCU leaders with culturally responsive competencies and capacities using an evidence-based approach to leadership development that translates theory-driven leadership curricula into institutional practices that broaden participation in STEM; and
  • Outreach: The Collaborative will increase the visibility and influence of HBCUs at the center of STEM higher education reform through a national Community of Practice that defines, codifies, and promulgates design principles and practices for leading broadening participation.