The California Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (California Alliance) focuses on increasing diversity in the academic fields with the greatest national underrepresentation of minorities: the mathematical, physical, and computer sciences; and engineering (MPCS&E).
The California Alliance consists of Caltech, the University of California, Berkeley (lead), the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford University. It was established to provide a clear path for underrepresented minority (URM) PhDs from California's top research institutions, in much larger numbers, to aspire to and populate the ranks of the postdoctoral population, the faculty at competitive research and teaching institutions, the federally-funded national laboratories, and scientific think tanks. Together, the California Alliance institutions have great potential for preparing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for the positions in which underrepresentation is most pronounced and seemingly the most intractable nationally.
The program is built on a foundation of research in the social psychology of belonging, identity, and achievement and that of the social anthropology of learning.
All activities are strategically designed to meet program objectives to:
- Create an unprecedented community of practice across the four institutions that include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and key administrators;
- Engage faculty as mentors to advance URM students' careers across these four institutions;
- Develop, implement, evaluate and set new standards for professional development;
- Promote PhD advancement to faculty and postdoctoral ranks in STEM through new partnerships and using new tools, and in partnership with federally-funded national laboratories; and,
- Conduct research that leverages the architecture of the California Alliance to identify which of the specific programs and initiatives that are in effect in research universities working to increase diversity are most impactful in ensuring URM students' success and professional ascension in the MPCS&E fields, and more generally within STEM.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1306760.