The first peer-matched study of the effect of mentoring for minority-serving institution faculty shows substantial improvement after one year in terms of the number of federal grants obtained, the increase in professional activities and affiliations, and the number of publications that were peer-reviewed according to an article published in the Sept. 4, 2013, edition of the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education.
Science educators at in majority minority universities face a teaching heavy situation as well as a shortage of funds for equipment that limits the involvement of teachers and students in the main business of science that is publishing and collecting money from grants for research.
The Visiting Professorship (VP) Program, organized by the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and funded through a Minority Access to Research Careers by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) produced substantial results in just one year.
The trial program selected 32 Visiting Professor Program participants included 19 African Americans, four Asians, three European Americans, six Hispanics. Nineteen women were part of the group selected. The only requirement for being a participant was experience teaching at a minority-serving institution.
The professors that received assistance were compared to a similar group that received no visiting professor assistance.
The one-on-one work paid off in a 63 percent increase in publications and a 50 percent increase in receiving federal grants for research by the mentored professors compared to those teachers who did not receive mentoring.
The program has been active for 15 years, but this is the first head-to-head results based comparison.