For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)

AAC&U Announces Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities Chosen to Participate in the Next Phase of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future Initiative

NSF-Supported Initiative Provides Professional and Leadership Development to Women of Color Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields

Dec 27, 2012

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the official award of $1.1M from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand the work of the Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF) initiative. The program supports women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to become strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines, and to stimulate redesigns of undergraduate STEM education at the participating colleges and universities. The program is funded by NSF’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). The five HBCUs were selected from among the 13 campuses that participated in the 2010–2011 cohort of the PCFF initiative.

PCFF 2 is anchored in the belief that respecting each HBCU’s deep cultural traditions, focusing on its mission of service to underrepresented communities, and building on its recognized strengths are the best strategies for strengthening the capacity to support higher levels of student success in STEM learning. Through collaborative planning with campus leaders in STEM and other areas, PCFF 2 participants will work to develop and implement STEM teaching and learning innovations designed to, at once, enhance student success and advance the leadership capacities of the women of color STEM faculty. By including non-STEM faculty as well as academic support and student life professionals in the planning and implementation process, PCFF 2 seeks broad campus engagement in efforts to enhance STEM learning outcomes, and increase the likelihood that changes will be adopted and sustained over time.

“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for giving AAC&U the opportunity to continue providing professional and STEM leadership development to women of color faculty members at HBCUs, and to work more intensively with institutions for STEM transformation,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “We also are delighted that this initiative connects both with our STEM reform efforts led by Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and with our work supporting women in higher education through our Program on the Status and Education of Women.”

Institutions selected to participate include:

Bennett College

Greensboro, NC

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Greensboro, NC

North Carolina Central University

Durham, NC

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Princess Anne, MD

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem, NC


Each PCFF institution initially nominated two women of color STEM faculty who they felt were best positioned to reach the goals of the PCFF program, including incorporating their new teaching and leadership capacities into their practice at their home campus. The program’s goals also include advancing innovative models for undergraduate STEM education that are likely to increase the number of STEM graduates from historically underrepresented populations. The five campuses were selected based on the quality and potential viability of action plans for campus STEM transformation that they developed during their involvement in the initial phase of PCFF. The PCFF 2 program will continue to build the leadership skills of the initial participants and to broaden institutional support for innovation in undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM and STEM-related fields.

“Project Kaleidoscope is excited about working in partnership withAAC&U in bringing to the forefront of national STEM education reform the valuable contributions of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said PKAL Executive Director Kelly Mack. “PCFF 2 presents our organization with an opportunity to embolden a cadre of STEM women of color faculty who are uniquely poised to lead and implement institutional transformation efforts in the academy.”

A second group of HBCU campuses from Cohort II of the initial PCFF initiative will be selected and supported to participate through the new award beginning in fall 2013.

This initiative is supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation. For additional information about the program, see: