Scott Johnson1 Paul Sabila4 Joshua Halpern2 3 Scott Sinex1 Tito Huber2

1, Prince George's Community College, Largo, Maryland, United States
4, Gallaudet University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
3, LibreTexts, Davis, California, United States

Community colleges and other small institutions lack the research equipment for students to do cutting edge undergraduate research. Moreover faculty tend to have a large teaching load, less time for research and also a lack of committed and/or trained students in the research labs as opposed to larger universities which have graduate students. Prince George's Community College (PGCC), a large urban minority institution, and Gallaudet University, an institution for the deaf and hard of hearing, have partnered with Howard University, an HBCU and R2 research university, for over a decade. Since 2007, three NSF grants have funded 46 ten-week summer intern positions that have been filled by minority students including women. Many students had multiple year experiences and were supported during the regular academic year.

Six faculty members from PGCC and Gallaudet were either involved with the students’ research or the development of educational materials, including a LibreTexts textbook and matsci excelets (interactive spreadsheets), and three new courses were developed while partnering with Howard colleagues. Gallaudet funded the remodeling of its science laboratories. Guidelines and procedures were also developed for dealing with the special needs of deaf and hard of hearing students in the laboratory. Nanotechnology related topics have been included in various courses in chemistry and physics at Gallaudet University. Howard faculty have also served as guest lecturers at PGCC and partners in successful grants from NASA and the Department of Education.

We will discuss the workings of a productive partnership that has given our students unique opportunities including five student co-authors on published papers. Tracking of student to bachelors degrees and beyond will be presented. PGCC and Gallaudet faculty publications with Howard colleagues have also been a productive endeavor, including a case where a Howard faculty member became involved in discipline-based educational research through collaborating with PGCC colleagues. PGCC has received NASA support for further engineering and support course revisions and laboratory equipment. Gallaudet University also has NASA support for research and student internships within the Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics.

This project has extended over a period of more than a decade. Support from a number of agencies through a series of grants to the partners must be acknowledged. Previous grants include two NSF Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) awards, DMR-0611595 and DMR-1205608 and an NSF IUSE DUE-152463 award. Continuing support comes from the STC Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) DMR-1231319. New awards include NASA MISTEC, and a project to increase use of open source textbooks from the Department of Education.