CAMPARE Mission and Goals
PHOTO (above): CAMPARE scholars at the 2014 mentoring dinner, when the 2014 participants met past participants to learn about what to expect in the coming summer.
The mission of CAMPARE is to advance undergraduate astronomy research and education among traditionally underrepresented groups (including women and Hispanic students) in order to promote their participation and advancement and increase their numbers in PhD programs in astronomy and related fields.
What makes CAMPARE different from a traditional REU site:
- the network of community colleges and comprehensive universities from which the students are recruited
- the mechanisms of recruitment to the CAMPARE program
- the participation of multiple world class research institutions (including two REU sites – SETI and NAU) in the program
- the careful recruitment of research mentors who are experienced and motivated to work with CAMPARE students
- the creation of an alternate education track for students who wish to pursue education or public outreach as a career
- the creation of a well-designed and robust mentoring and professional development program, to provide mentoring to the CAMPARE students at every stage of the program, and at every level, with the overall goal of helping them develop a career plan and persist in that plan
In the National Academy of Sciences 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy, “New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics,” the authors noted that, while Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans constitute 27 percent of the U.S. population, they account for less than 4 percent of physics and astronomy PhDs awarded in the United States and only 3 percent of faculty members. Women are similarly underrepresented in PhDs earned (20% in physics, 40% in astronomy) and faculty positions held (14% in physics, 17% in astronomy). One of the top strategies recommended to overcome this underrepresentation is “Partnerships of community colleges and minority-serving institutions with research universities and with national centers and laboratories.” CAMPARE is such a program. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), in their February 2012 report state, “Federal agencies should encourage projects that establish collaborations between research universities and community colleges or other institutions that do not have research programs,” suggesting that programs like CAMPARE are a national priority in STEM education.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1322432.