• The cost of the program, with annual cost estimates for the first 10 years of the program.

  • Alternative funding sources for the program.

  • The criteria for selecting students for participation in the program.

  • The appropriate number of students for annual participation in the program.

  • The possible ways in which the program or its concepts can be extended to other federal agencies, state agencies, educational institutions, and private organizations.

  • The existence of any current public or private sector programs which are similar to the program, the benefits and disadvantages of those similar programs, and whether a new program would unnecessarily duplicate current efforts.

  • The extent to which existing federal, state, and other science education programs and activities could be used to complement or supplement the program.

OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM

We propose that a National Scholars Program implement from 20 to 30 consortiums. Each consortium will provide a continuum of program support from precollege through doctoral study. Linkages between educational levels and partnerships among colleges and universities, precollege science initiatives, scientific societies, and the private sector will form the organizational framework of a consortium. A consortium must provide a set of essential educational elements, including mentoring, research participation, prefreshman bridge programs, academic advisement, tutoring, structure teaching, and enrichment. A National Scholars Coordinating Council will provide national leadership and oversight for the program.

When we speak of a consortium, linkages, and program elements, we intend a genuine and serious effort to bring together key people in institutions and organizations that are committed to the goals of the program, not complexity. The program should be guided by two principles. The first is academic excellence. The National Scholars Program should be identified first with high academic achievement and then as a program to advance minority scholarship. Second, science faculty must be involved in all aspects of the development of the program and in interactions among consortium partners.

In the report that follows, the committee sets forth both an organizational structure for a National Scholars Program and a description of the educational principles that should underlie the program. Then the committee sets forth recommendations pertaining to the selection of students and consortiums, the number of participants, costs, and next steps.



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