BOSTON — SEVERAL hundred minority undergraduate students began preparing for an academic career this summer by doing research with faculty members at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
The program is part of the Leadership Alliance, a group of 23 colleges and universities working together to get minorities into the "educational pipeline."
Students and faculty are paired in various academic disciplines and work together on a research project. "These mentoring relationships do more than provide students with an intensely focused research experience," says James Wyche, associate provost at Brown University. "They demonstrate the immense satisfactions of an academic research career and open students to the possibilities of graduate education and careers in higher education."
In 1990, Brown's President Vartan Gregorian called on the Ivy League universities to band together and help promote underrepresented minorities into positions of leadership in American higher education. Four other Ivy League schools joined Brown and met in December 1991 to talk about the issue. The consortium now has 23 member schools, including all the Ivy League colleges.
The goals of the Leadership Alliance include tripling the number of minority students receiving PhDs from these schools in the next eight years.
"By working as a consortium, members of the Alliance intend to effect change in the culture of American education," reads the group's mission statement.