Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

DSEA - Disciplinary Society and Education Association Alliance

Disciplinary societies and educational associations (DSEA's) have an increasingly significant role in shaping the future of undergraduate STEM. PKAL's connections to these associations (through the DSEA network) was sparked at a PKAL-sponsored assembly at the National Academy of Sciences in December 1997. Representatives from a wide range of organizations came together to explore areas of mutual concern and opportunities for collaboration and sharing. The report, Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education– Proceedings and Recommendations from the PKAL Day of Dialogue, captured the sense of the assembly, and set the stage for irregular meetings within the DSEA community.

Since late-2003, the DSEA network has focused its efforts on enhancing the success of early-career STEM faculty from under-represented groups. The focus of these efforts is to build on design principles identified in the report A Bridge for ALL: Higher Education Design Principles to Broaden Participation in STEM produced by Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST) by having the nation's pre-eminent professional and disciplinary societies establish a collective and concerted efforts to developand sustain programs that will help STEM faculty, administrators, and institutions of higher education broaden participation in STEM. Disciplinary societies and educational associations have become more and more concerned about the employment of under-represented groups in colleges and universities, the success rate of under-represented faculty in promotion and tenure, and the recruitment of under-represented students into graduate STEM programs.

The long-range goal of thse efforts is to improve the climate in departments and institutions where STEM professionals are educated, leading ot a more diverse workforce. Professional and disciplinary societies work together in this effort to educate their members about issues, and help members and their institutions develop professional development and mentoring programs for new faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows that are appropriate to the work and culture of their disciplines. The emphasis is for professional and disciplinary societies to play more active roles ni assisting their members to recruit, nurture, and retain more faculty and students from populations that historically have been under-represented in STEM.

In addition to the informal DSEA network, PKAL's connections to such peer organizations:

  • inform and enhance the planning of PKAL activities
  • provide PKAL with a means to present emerging ideas and materials to a broader audience
  • offer opportunities to highlight the work of undergraduate STEM leaders.