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3 PROGRAM GOALS NUMERICAL GOALS The goal of the National Scholars Program is to produce 235 minority Ph.D.s in the physical sciences' mathematics? and engineering disciplines each year twice the number of degrees presently awarded. We use as our baseline figure 23 3 Ph.D. s conferred to Blacks, American Indians? and Hispanics who were U.S. citizens or noncitizens holding permanent resident visas in the above fields in 1994. This goal should be achieved within 10 years after full implementation of the program. By "minorities" we mean American Indians, Blacks, Hispanics' and Pacific Islanders. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing minorities who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents from those who enter the U.S. to attend graduate school and later obtain permanent resident status or become U.S. citizens. Within the Hispanic population, the primary emphasis should be on Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, although recent immigrants from Central America with educational experiences similar to those of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans may also be considered. Pacific Islanders are included as one of the target croups, although data are not available on the educational achievements of minorities who have been educated in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. In terms of disciplines, we intend for the program to cover a broad spectrum. It will include the traditional fields associated with the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering? as well as interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary fields such as computer science? biophysics, and statistics. It will also be open to the inclusion of new, emerging fields which may represent the forefront of knowledge. At present three percent of Ph.D.s in these fields are conferred to African Americans? Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and American Indians. Doubling this number will mean that about six percent of Ph.D.s (assuming that the total number of degrees conferred in these fields does not increase) will be earned by minority men and women. For purposes of comparison, it should be noted that these minority groups made up 22 percent of the total U.S. population in 1990 and 27 percent of the school-age population (NSF 1990, 4~. A National Scholars Program will not operate in a vacuum. Other national initiatives by the National Science Foundation (NSF 1994) and the Quality Education for number of Ph.D.s earned by Pacific Islanders Minorities (QEM) Project (1990), for in 1994. In short, our primary concern is the example, to increase minority participation in
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12 the scientific and technological work force are already under way. Given the current initiatives, and a possible increase in the number of minority Ph.D.s that may already be in progress, how can the National Scholars Program demonstrate that the proposed increase of 235 Ph.D.s is a result of this program? The candid answer is that it cannot. There is no way to predict what the number of minority Ph.D.s would be without this program, nor to identifier which students pursued science and engineering degrees only because they were National Scholars. In addition, we expect existing targeted programs, such as NIH's Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and NSF's Minority Graduate Fellowship Program' to continue to produce Ph.D.s. At the same time, the current numbers are so small that we can say with confidence that a doubling of those numbers will not occur without a program such as this one. Such a dramatic increase will help develop a critical mass of minority scientists and engineers which now exists almost nowhere. We know that the creation of those critical masses vow encourage other minority students to consider science and engineering careers? as they see role models and find mentors. Although the percentages are still very small, there have been modest increases in Ph.D.s among underrepresented groups over the past decade. The National Scholars Program will build on this momentum and help insure that the numbers continue to grow. WlIY TlIE Ph.D.? We believe the objective of a National Scholars Program is most appropriately targeted to increase the number of minorities earning a Ph.D. Minorities have achieved the least success atthePh.D. level relative to other degree levels, and, although not the only purpose, a central purpose of the program is to increase the number of minorities who will be qualified to obtain faculty positions in distinguished universities in order to con- tribute to the training of the next generation of minority scholars. However, the program should also educate National Scholars for a variety of careers in educational institutions that are less research oriented, as well as for jobs in government and in the private sector. By focusing on the Ph.D. we do not mean to imply that those who participate in the National Scholars Program and then decide to leave the program after completing a bachelor's or a master's degree should be regarded as failures. Some may choose to work in rewarding and challenging jobs in science and engineering that do not require a Ph.D., such as biotechnology. Others may switch to other disciplines, having acquired a thorough grounding in mathematics and basic science courses that will equip them to succeed in a variety of careers. These students will have added substantial value because of their participation in the program. The important national benefits of increasing the number of minority Ph.D.s, however, would not be accomplished if the program were to focus on other degrees. It is at this level that underrepresentation is the most severe, but it is also the level at which scientists and engineers have the greatest visibility in the research community, the opportunity to exercise leadership, and the responsibility to train and nurture other minority scholars. Although many side benefits will ensue from this program, it will be critical for the success of the program to stay focused on this single degree goal.
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13 IDEALISTIC GOALS The idealistic goals of the National Scholars Program strive to assure that National Scholars who earn their Ph.D. degree wall become scholars in the fullest sense of the term. Regardless of their sector of employ- ment (academe, government, or industry), they should seek not only to become learned experts who search for knowledge, but also scholars who transmit their learning to others by accepting the responsibility for conducting excellent science and assuring that more and more minorities follow in their footsteps. The substance of the faculty and student linkages in this program will enhance not only the success of minority students, but the success of all students. In the long run, the greatest measure of the success of the National Scholars Program should be that it will no longer be needed.
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