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Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 PM
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AAC&U Announces Howard University to Participate in Third Cohort of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future
NSF-Supported Initiative Provides Professional and Leadership Development to Women of Color Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields

Washington (November 7, 2012) ­­­– The Association of American Colleges and Universities announced today the names of ten colleges and universities chosen in a competitive process to participate in the third cohort of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF), including Howard University. This project supports women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in becoming strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). The institutions selected over the three cohorts represent many different types—including two year and four year, public, and private HBCUs.

The list of institutions chosen to participate includes:

Alcorn State University (Lorman, MS)


Bowie State University (Bowie, MD)

Hampton University (Hampton, VA)

Howard University (Washington, DC)

Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)

Lane College (Jackson, TN)

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Lincoln University, PA)

Southern University at New Orleans
(New Orleans, LA)

Tougaloo College  (Tougaloo, MS)

Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

Each participating institution nominated two women of color faculty in STEM disciplines to participate in all phases of the project. Institutional leaders also identified three additional participants to engage in the second phase of the project, which will include participation in AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and The Departments in July 2013.

“The project has already made great strides in advancing the professional and leadership development of women of color faculty in STEM fields,” said AAC&U Senior Scholar, Co-PI and Project Director Alma Clayton-Pedersen. “The 26 institutional leaders in the first and second cohorts are busy implementing the STEM education enhancement plans they developed over the course of their participation and refined during AAC&U’s summer Institutes on Integrative Learning and Departments (2012) and Engaging Departments (2011). Early indications from external evaluators are that PCFF is having a strong impact on the participants’ leadership development. Over time PCFF is expected to showcase curricular changes that improve undergraduate STEM education at the selected institutions.” Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s HBCUs will have participated in PCFF at the end of 2013, which marks the third and final year of the grant.

The goals of the PCFF project are to provide professional and leadership development for women of color faculty in STEM disciplines, or in NSF natural and behavioral science disciplines; and to enhance undergraduate STEM education at HBCUs and beyond. This project provides participants with the opportunity and the financial support to engage in and influence the national dialogue on improving undergraduate STEM education. Project participants will both contribute to and gain from national efforts to develop and implement innovative STEM teaching and learning practices and effective curricular change strategies.

By uncovering useful strategies for preparing women of color faculty for academic leadership in STEM fields, PCFF is benefitting STEM education broadly, as well as at HBCUs through its dissemination efforts. Three women from two institutions have contributed articles in national print and online publications. Others are scheduled to make presentations at AAC&U’s national STEM conference in November. In addition, AAC&U hopes to extend PCFF efforts with the first two cohorts over the next three years through a pending proposal at NSF.
This initiative is supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation. For additional information about the project, see:

About AAC&U
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,250 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.
Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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