Spelman College

To increase access for Black women pursuing a career as a data science professional

  • Amount $500,000
  • City Atlanta, GA
  • Investigator Monica Stephens-Cooley
  • Year 2021
  • Program Higher Education
  • Sub-program

This grant supports a partnership between Spelman College and Michigan State University (MSU) to create an innovative educational pipeline that couples high quality instruction in cutting edge data science with particularized training in disciplinary sciences like mathematics and physics. Led by Monica Stephens Cooley (Spelman) and Andrew Christlieb (MSU), the five-year (“3+2”) program starts at Spelman and is aimed at undergraduate STEM majors who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in STEM-focused data science.  Developed in coordination with MSU, the Spelman curriculum has been curated to equip Black women undergraduates with skills and training that will make them attractive candidates for admission to MSU’s highly competitive, two-year master’s degree program in data science. Grant funds will support the recruitment and training of an initial cohort of ten Spelman students over the next two years. In addition to the program’s educational merits, the participation of Spelman, both a women’s college and a Historically Black College, in the partnership represents an exciting new avenue for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM graduate education and could serve as a model for the important role Minority Serving Institutions have to play in increasing women’s and Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o graduate degree attainment in the sciences and engineering.

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