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Projects & Initiatives

APLU INCLUDES: Diversifying STEM Faculty

APLU INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is a National Science Foundation-sponsored project aimed at expanding the diversity of STEM faculty.

Through a collaborative, evidence-based approach, the project’s first phase seeks to provide APLU’s membership of more than 230 public universities and university systems with promising practices to broaden student participation in STEM programs, foster career pathways toward the professoriate, and tools to effectively recruit, hire, and retain STEM faculty from underrepresented groups.

APLU leaders believe this project can transform the recruitment, hiring, and retention of underrepresented STEM faculty — women, members of minority racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds — on a national scale.

Learn more about the latest work from APLU INCLUDES:

  • Why Diversifying STEM Faculty Matters

    Broadening participation within STEM faculty has been demonstrated in recent research as key to broadening student participation in STEM fields and cultivating a STEM workforce able to tackle 21st century problems. Research has also indicated that diverse teams in STEM are more innovative, more productive, and better able to solve complex problems than heterogeneous groups.

    Despite the centrality of diversity in learning and student success, efforts to increase underrepresented faculty at a national scale have been largely unsuccessful in STEM fields. A 2015 analysis revealed that underrepresented minority faculty occupied a mere 8 percent of associate and full professorships in STEM fields at four-year institutions.

    APLU’s more than 230 members are particularly poised to achieve movement on this complex issue as they award a high number of STEM undergraduate and graduate STEM degrees and employ a significant number of STEM faculty. According to the National Science Board’s 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators, public research universities award 48 percent of all science and engineering undergraduate degrees, 40 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of doctoral degrees.

  • Working with NSF

    APLU INCLUDES is one of NSF’s inaugural INCLUDES Design Development Launch Pilot grantees. The INCLUDES program aims to create alliances and partnerships to broaden participation in the STEM workforce by improving access to STEM education and career pathways at a significant national scale. It is a special new effort for NSF, listed as one of its 10 Big Ideas for Future Investments in 2016 when the first awards were made.