National Change Resources
Faculty who have advising responsibilities play a critical role in a student's progression through their undergraduate education. This is especially important for students from underrepresented minorities (URMs) such as first generation students or students from low socio-economic backgrounds LSEBs). While academic advising in higher education has been professionalized and its importance in student success has been recognized, faculty advising has not experienced the advancement in scholarship, theory and practice that is needed. Aspire's A Guide to Academic Advising for STEM Faculty provides an overview of advising, core competencies to address the academic needs of students, and tools to help faculty be effective advisors for a diverse population of students. The tools and resources include an advising checklist for new faculty, faculty advising framework, exercises to help identify social identity, and more.
STEM professional societies serve a central role in defining and reinforcing national STEM professional cultures. Within these societies, there are key individuals focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) who play a crucial part in connecting ideas, resources, and stakeholders within and between professional societies to influence and enact change. These “boundary spanners” engage in finding, translating, diffusing, gaining support, and social “weaving” behaviors to advance DEI in these societies. DEI boundary spanners who oversee the engagement of multiple societies (i.e., multi-society DEI boundary spanners) may be especially important and underutilized agents of change. The NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance postulates that synchronizing DEI training and the efforts of these boundary spanners could facilitate multi-society awareness and adoption of evidence-based DEI policies and practices within and between these societies. If successful, this would accelerate DEI culture-change in STEM professional societies, and ultimately result in more diverse, equitable, and inclusive national STEM professional cultures.
Faculty are key to promoting academic success for undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This article presents Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty), a research-grounded framework that identifies three conceptual domains that are foundational to faculty being equitable and inclusive. The framework’s three domains of identity, intercultural awareness, and relational each provides its own set of awareness, knowledge, and skills, and is transferable across multiple faculty roles. In the article, an example narrative of a day in the life of "Dr. Smith" is used to illustrate what the IPF: Faculty can look like in practice. The IPF: Faculty can provide campuses an opportunity to integrate existing diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development programming into a framework that can be iteratively explored and practiced and in turn build local institutional capacity to promote change.
Academic chairs play a critical role in establishing and promoting a positive department culture (character and personality) and climate (perceived atmosphere and ambiance). This article briefly explores Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty) through two lenses. First, an inward-focused lens examines how the framework can help academic chairs to navigate effectively and equitably the responsibilities of their own role. Second, the outward-focused lens supports academic chairs to leverage the IPF: Faculty to foster a more equitable department culture and climate by promoting professional development for their faculty, staff, and students.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professional societies (ProSs) serve broad memberships, define disciplinary norms and culture, and inform accrediting bodies and thus provide critical levers for systems change. Inclusive STEM system reform requires that underlying “mental models” be examined. The Inclusive Professional Framework for Societies (IPF: Societies) is an interrelated set of strategies that can help ProSs change leaders (i.e., “boundary spanners”) and organizations identify and address mental models hindering DEI reform. The IPF: Societies uses four “I's”—Identity awareness and Intercultural mindfulness (i.e., equity mindset) upon which inclusive relationships and Influential DEI actions are scaffolded. This article discusses how the IPF: Societies complements existing DEI tools and how it can be applied to existing ProS policy and practice associated with common ProS functions (e.g., leadership, membership, conferences, awards, and professional development). Ultimately, the IPF: Societies has potential to promote more efficient, effective, and lasting DEI organizational transformation and contribute to inclusive STEM disciplinary excellence.