achievement become the norm, rather than a consequence of special effort.
The National Scholars Program should also embody an idealistic goal which seeks to assure that National Scholars become scholars in the fullest sense of the term. They should seek not only to advance scientific inquiry but to develop skills in teaching and to accept responsibilities for assuring that other minorities can follow similar paths.
A National Scholars Program should provide guidance and support for the development of 20 to 30 National Scholars consortiums. We propose a model that would have as its core collaboration among one or more undergraduate institutions, one or more graduate institutions or departments, and a precollege component. A consortium might choose to develop an intensive collaboration with specific precollege science education programs or a school system, initiate a new precollege activity, or develop linkages with several precollege programs to recruit talented participants into programs for undergraduate study at a consortium institution. A consortium should also develop linkages with other entities from the public and private sectors, such as disciplinary societies, minority and non-minority professional associations, business, industry, and community organizations. Several, although not necessarily all, of these elements should participate in a consortium.
When we speak of consortiums, linkages, and program elements, we do not intend inordinate complexity but rather a concerted and serious effort to bring together key people and organizations that are committed to the success of the endeavor. We want to avoid bureaucracy but, nonetheless, insist on tangible evidence of effectiveness and genuine commitment from all who participate. We seek to encourage a partnership among programs, activities, resources, and good intentions in the context of academic excellence.
We do not propose a standard model in the sense that all consortiums would be clones of a prescribed ideal. Instead, each consortium should assemble the educational partners and resources that will best accomplish its objectives. The program should be viewed as a vehicle to accomplish stated goals that would not be possible for individual institutions or organizations to accomplish independently. In forming partnerships, the emphasis should be that of "value added" in deciding who should participate and why.
A National Scholars Coordinating Council should be appointed to set policy and oversee administration of the program. It should be responsible for developing program guidelines and the Request for Proposal (RFP), selecting the individual consortiums, providing technical assistance, fundraising and publicity, maintaining a national database and program evaluation, and organizing the annual National Scholars Program conference. The council should be supported by a small professional staff located at a university or associated with a scientific organization.
Each consortium must have a set of "non-negotiable" program elements that will form the educational core of the National Scholars Program. These include mentoring, academic advisement, research participation, tutoring/study groups, prefreshman summer bridge programs, structured teaching, and enrichment. The last element refers to a range