New Program Proposal, Pathways to the Professoriate in the Arts and Humanities, selected for funding by the UC President’s Office

UCSC’s Dean of the Arts Division, Dr. Celine Parreñas Shimizu, and Dr. Jasmine Alinder, Dean of Humanities, are part of the new initiative’s leadership team. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

A new cross-divisional initiative to prepare UC Santa Cruz graduate arts and humanities students from historically underrepresented groups for access to faculty has been selected for funding by the University of California Hispanic Service Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative (UC-HSI DDI). Path to a professorship in letters and humanities was one of three proposals selected through a highly competitive review in which only the top-ranked applications were recommended for funding. It is also the first initiative focusing specifically on the arts and humanities to be selected since the 2019 launch of the UC-HSI DDI.

“For decades, there has been strong funding at the state and national levels for these types of college and university career pipelines in STEM disciplines,” says UCSC Division of Arts Dean Dr. Celine Parreñas Shimizu, who is the lead researcher for the program. “Arts and Humanities share similar gaps in achievement, retention and graduation, but do not have the same resources to support our students. This is an exceptional investment to advance educational equity in our divisions and a powerful tool for lasting institutional change.

“With our partner in the arts, the Humanities Division is committed to recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty,” said Dr. Jasmine Alinder, Dean of Humanities. “This Journey the initiative supports this work by helping us build more diverse cohorts of graduate students. »

The Journey The program is a multi-faceted initiative designed to provide students from UCSC and its regional HSI partner, CSU Monterey Bay, with faculty mentorship, summer research experiences, and professional development workshops at key times. leading to and during their graduate career, practices that have been shown to have a positive impact on student achievement and retention, especially for underrepresented students.

Research indicates that these students face distinct academic, financial, and social barriers that prevent them from earning an MFA/PhD. and move on to teaching. National diversity data confirms this. A startling 82.8% of humanities professors are white, and a Strategic National Arts Alumni Project survey of the career outcomes of UC arts alumni found that 91.2% of those who persisted in the Arts-related occupations, including faculty, were white.

“There is a hidden agenda about navigating higher education that a first-generation student, for example, may not know about, so there is a real need to lift that curtain and provide students with the mentoring relationships, professional resources and experiences and opportunities they need to truly understand and thrive in the academic landscape,” says Dr. Holly Unruh, executive director of the Arts Research Institute at UCSC. is essential to have a university culture of inclusion and equity that supports students’ sense of belonging in addition to their academic success. Journey makes it a priority, and its leadership team, including the Deans of the Arts and Humanities Division, is recognized for leading the division’s equity and diversity initiatives.

In addition to division deans, the leadership team includes faculty members from each who have been active in supporting underrepresented students as well as campus efforts to examine the climate and support of underrepresented faculty. represented, and the faculty and staff directors of the Humanities Institute and the Arts Research Institute, who will direct and house all program activities.

“The Institute for the Humanities is delighted to partner with our colleagues in the arts on this important initiative,” said Irena Polic, Executive Director of the Institute for the Humanities. “One of our main goals over the past decade has been to think deeply about higher education in the humanities and to prepare our students for a wide range of careers. Our Graduate Student Success program, initially funded by a to agree from the Mellon Foundation, has transformed students in our division, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. Journey will be able to expand this work and connect existing programs on campus to maximize their impact on our divisions. With programs like these, we can not only build a stronger faculty, we can build a stronger California.

Journey also builds on the success of two recent grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Graduating and Advancing New American Scholars (GANAS) – Career Path and GANAS-Graduate Pathwaysboth administered by the office of Initiatives serving Hispanics. The GANAS graduate program is the first federally funded program to begin reaching the Arts and Humanities divisions, and Journey seeks to maximize its impact by expanding the scope of the GANAS undergraduate summer research experience and adding an additional service for graduate students.

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