Develop, Implement and Study

The Northern Ohio AGEP Alliance (NOA-AGEP) recognizes that underrepresented minority (URM) students often need additional supports and professional development experiences to persist in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline through to the professoriate. NOA-AGEP has committed to develop, implement, and study a model to improve URM student participation, preparation, and success in STEM graduate education, and to prepare them for entry into the professoriate.

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NSF AGEP) program, NOA-AGEP formed in 2015 as an alliance of seven northern Ohio universities:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Kent State University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Toledo
  • Youngstown State University

While CWRU serves as the lead institution, each member of the Alliance plays a substantial role in the development, implementation, and study of our project.


NOA-AGEP will develop a model to improve preparation and participation in STEM education of URM graduate students among partner universities to equip them with the necessary skills and information to seek future employment in the professoriate. The Alliance will expand and share activities that work well at their university to: 

  1. Create a community of URM STEM student scholars; 
  2. Enhance student support; and
  3. Help these students consider the best next steps in their academic career. 


NOA-AGEP will implement the model across its partner institutions to:

  1. Improve the coordination of recruitment practices;
  2. Provide direct support to URM STEM graduate students; and
  3. Improve faculty and institutional supports affecting students’ preparedness for entry into the professoriate.

Recruitment activities include the transition of URM undergraduate students to graduate work, and the moving of URM graduate students through the pipeline to opportunities that will enhance their research skills and participation in STEM academic communities. The alliance universities will also see benefits such as strengthened partnerships, and increased institutional capacity, climate and coordination to support URM students. 


NOA-AGEP will study the model’s ability to increase the preparation and success of STEM URM graduate students, among partners, to maintain or increase interest in the professoriate. Ongoing evaluation—starting early in the program cycle—will ensure that the processes and tools disseminated to other universities via NOA-AGEP will be calibrated to increase the number of U.S. citizen URM STEM students prepared to take the next step in their pathway to the professoriate. Concurrently, NOA-AGEP  researchers will explore questions of URM academic efficacy and climates of inclusivity.

Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate

As the recipient of a National Science Foundation AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)-Transformation award, The Northern Ohio AGEP Alliance (NOA-AGEP) joins the mission of the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program at the National Science Foundation. This is a commitment to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities (URMs)—including those with disabilities—entering and completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education and postdoctoral training, to levels representative of the available pool. 

AGEP alliances consist of institutions dedicated to supporting women, underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities in order to help them to complete advanced degrees in the STEM fields. Increased URM participation in advanced STEM education and training is critical for supporting the development of a diverse professional STEM workforce. It is especially important to have a diverse set of STEM faculty members who serve as the intellectual, professional, personal and organizational role models—shaping the expectations of future scientists and engineers.

AGEP-Transformation grants are awarded to strategic alliances of institutions and organizations to develop, implement and study innovative evidence-based models and standards for STEM graduate education, postdoctoral training and academic STEM career preparation. These institutions must also eliminate or mitigate negative factors and promote positive practices for URMs.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers HRD 1432053, 1432864, 1432868, 1432878, 1432891, 1432921, and 1432950. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.