This [Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)] provides awards to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a means to broaden participation in the Nation’s STEM workforce.
National Science Foundation
Langston’ Integrated Network College (LINC) was created in 2003 with the support of a National Science Foundation grant of $2.6M as well as the support of Langston University’s staff and faculty community. It has emerged as a training ground and showcase for Langston’s scholars in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines.
Specifically, LINC’s goal has always been, and continues to be, to contribute to the number of minority students who select STEM as a major, complete an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline, and enter and complete a graduate or professional degree program. Achievement of this goal speaks to the heart of the NSF HBCU-UP program, and also answers the call of the nation to improve its global competitiveness by increasing the number and diversity of qualified STEM professionals.
LINC is the brainchild of Langston Chemistry Professor and Department chair, John K. Coleman, PhD, whose philosophy for learning includes an unyielding belief in such age-old adages as start where you are, use what you have, expect excellence, and learn the basics – reading and math. It was the climate of collaboration at Langston that made the creation of LINC possible. Langston had over fourteen (14) pre-college programs, at least five (5) Langston-based programs, and more that twelve (12) external partners that had attributes that could contribute to a network of support for scholars interested in, and capable of excellence in, STEM disciplines. The expectation of excellence and support among STEM staff; Langston’s hard-wired, existing programs; and the NSF HBCU-UP’s vision and support – properly integrated – resulted in LINC.
At the outset, key LINC features were:
Financial scholarships are a necessity for students from humble financial backgrounds; most are not experienced at finding resources because pursuing higher education is not naturally embedded in their culture. Mentoring and Tutoring are critical to broadening students’ personal horizons and possibilities, introducing them to STEM careers, and serving as role models. Research equipment that exposed students to the reality of research, research experiences that permitted them to experience success in the area, partners that provided venues for these experiences, and funding that made travel to these venues possible, were critical.
Lessons learned during the course of the first LINC program (2003-2007), combined with the launch of new technologies, resulted in two new programs that have significantly impacted teaching and learning (Competency Performance Recordings for Learning – CPRL), and internal and external communications (STEM Digital Village – SDV).
Participation in the LINC project is the doorway for students to become involved in impressive research internships at various universities and research organizations nationwide. Students leverage their research experiences to gain entry into competitive research presentations at events that include the highly competitive Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference and the equally competitive Beta Kappa Chi and National Institute of Science (NISBKX) Joint Meeting. Langston’s LINC scholars hold their own among presenters from other HBCU’s and comprehensive universities that include University of California at Los Angeles, University of Arizona, Alabama State University, St. Johns University, and John Hopkins School of Medicine.
During the course of the LINC project, the number of STEM majors increased by 600% compared to the pre-LINC period. The number of Chemistry graduates increased by 151%, and the number of Biology graduates increased by 23%.
The LINC project has been supported through four (4) Langston University presidents, and still endures. We believe that its endurance can be attributed to the university’s support of its mission, the intense collaboration, and results that continue to benefit LINC scholars and the nation.
Read more about LINC.
LINC Success Team
LINC Scholars Research Projects (and awards earned)
For further information, contact Dr. John K. Coleman by completing the form below.
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