November 17, 2021
Five Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) faculty members in the Department of Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice have been awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advancing Innovation and Impact in Undergraduate STEM Education at Two-year Institutions of Higher Education program.
The grant will support their project, “Creating a Path to STEM Careers in Psychology for Under-Represented Minorities.”
The project seeks to serve 300 students during the grant period, December 2021 through November 24. Together, the Sr.- and Co-PIs will develop a STEM minor curriculum in Psychology that will articulate with the Bachelor of Science in Psychology academic program at City College of New York, CUNY.
Graduates of the program will earn an Associate of Arts in Psychology, with a STEM minor. The new academic minor will be informed by instructional pedagogy that promotes science-based education, cohort models and student support. The Sr.- and Co-PIs will investigate how this multifaceted approach impacts the retention, persistence to graduation, and successful transfer of Under-Represented Minority (URM) students to senior college neuroscience degree programs and careers.
“The team will assess how the seamless articulation and partnership between a community college STEM minor in psychology and a four-year college psychology program — in this case, the Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology program at CCNY — contributes to students’ preparation for STEM-based classes. We will also evaluate how it builds their confidence to persist in a four-year, neuroscience-focused degree, and supports a positive outlook for neuroscience-focused careers,” says Department Chair Bishop.
She explains that the study findings can be modeled by other community colleges in the STEM education community, “and have the potential to positively impact academic and professional trajectories of minoritized students.”
According to Deputy Chair Walters, “The project aims to serve the national interest by increasing the participation of Under-Represented Minority (URM) students in STEM-based neuroscience psychology programs and careers.”
Professor Rodgers shares insight into the historic relevance and timeliness of the project.
“The mistrust displayed by some communities of color of the medical establishment’s responses and innovations regarding COVID-19 treatment underscores the importance of increased representation in fields like neuroscience and medicine at large,” she says. “Frankly, when communities that have been mistreated by science are then included in the innovations and are given the opportunity to become the innovators as well, this helps to build the necessary trust.”
This NSF-funded project to create a STEM minor in Psychology — that articulates with the B.S. in Psychology program at CCNY and builds a pathway to careers in STEM — relates to BMCC’s Strategic Plan, including but not limited to Strategic Goal 3: Integrate Career Development Throughout the Student Experience.
- Five BMCC faculty members in the Department of Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice have been awarded a $600,000 NSF grant for their project, “Creating a Path to STEM Careers in Psychology for Under-Represented Minorities.”
- Senior Principal Investigators (PIs) for the project are Department Chair Sangeeta Bishop and Deputy Chair Janice Walters. Co-PIs are Professors Monica Foust, Kelly Rodgers and Masha Komolova.
- Project will create a STEM minor curriculum in Psychology that will articulate with the Bachelor of Science in Psychology academic program at City College of New York, CUNY.