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UMD and Bowie State Univ. Launch Training Program to Increase Diversity in Education Research

Five-year grant will provide UMD and BSU students with research and academic mentoring.


Audrey Hill , 301-405-3468


The University of Maryland College of Education and Bowie State University received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to train undergraduate students from underrepresented populations for doctoral study. Designed to increase diversity in education research, students in the Research Institute for Scholars in Education (RISE) training program will receive research mentoring on language and literacy topics from UMD faculty, while receiving academic mentoring from BSU faculty.

The RISE program, led by UMD College of Education Professor Susan De La Paz and BSU College of Education Professor William Drakeford, will include students and faculty from both universities. The undergraduate juniors selected for the program will be from traditionally underrepresented groups, including students who belong to an ethnic or racial minority and/or are low-income, first generation college students, veterans, or students with disabilities.

“A diverse group of education researchers is important because addressing cultural and linguistic diversity remains a significant challenge for literacy and language scholars,” Dr. De La Paz said. “The goal of this grant is to enhance the pipeline of education scientists by developing the capacity of underrepresented undergraduates to contribute to rigorous scientific research in the field.”

The five-year grant will fund fellowships for up to 48 pre-doctoral fellows. Through the RISE program, the students will work with researchers from four departments within UMD’s College of Education and College of Behavioral & Social Sciences-- Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE), Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL), Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) and Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP). Fellows will be paired with researchers who study language and literacy issues for a wide range of student groups, including those who are culturally or linguistically diverse, students who have learning disabilities, are English learners, or have speech, language, or hearing impairments. The research will focus on the needs of students who range from preschool to high school age or who are adults.

Fellows will attend an eight-week summer and two-week winter research seminar, participate in two semester-long research opportunities and receive academic mentorship from BSU faculty and peer mentorship from graduate students on either campus.

Susan De La Paz is a faculty member in the UMD College of Education’s Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. William Drakeford, RISE project lead at BSU, is a faculty member in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Professional Development.

The grant award is funded through the Institute of Education’s Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program.


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