A large state university was unable to attract diverse graduate students in numbers commensurate with its state’s population. In addition, the University was leaving research dollars on the table because it often could not provide the minority partners required by some federal agencies. The president wanted to build mutually beneficial relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”) to address these challenges.
The Barthwell Group Solution
The Barthwell Group developed a multifaceted program designed to provide mutual benefit to the HBCU partners and the Client. After interfacing with stakeholders at the Client, and executives at HBCUs, the Department of Education, and foundation executives, we developed the concept for a collaboration which would create a partnership between the Client and multiple HBCUs in a multifaceted program to increase minority graduate students and professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“STEM”) disciplines.
Next, we conducted a comprehensive scan of the 100+ HBCUs to determine those which met the requirements for partnership (previously developed with the Client). We leveraged our longstanding excellent relationships with HBCUs to develop the partnership between the Client and multiple HBCUs. During the first two years, The Barthwell Group coordinated the implementation of the collaboration by ensuring regular communication among the partners. We also monitored the operation of a summer research program involving HBCU and the Client’s students in the STEM disciplines, and assisted in the development of faculty STEM research collaborations among the partners.
Finally, we ensured the sustainability of the collaboration and identified additional funding sources. The highly successful collaboration enabled more than 85 students to engage in intensive research experiences and resulted in 97% of the participants in its Summer Scholars Institute indicating that they will pursue graduate degrees in the STEM disciplines. Participation in the Summer Scholars Institute more than tripled, and the collaboration developed research relationships among the faculty of the partners.