Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.18
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Columbia University
PAE-8: Support Programs for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susan Rieger
Associate Provost, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Provost's Office
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Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, affinity groups, academic support programs, or other programs in place to support underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the student body:

Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). The umbrella organization for students in underrepresented groups is the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Responding to the needs of Columbia’s diverse undergraduate student body, OMA aims to promote an inclusive university climate by acting as an educational resource that prepares students to succeed in a heterogeneous and ever-changing society. The Office provides a supportive environment for intercultural communication, constructive interaction and mutual understanding. OMA aims to strengthen and enhance the richly diverse fabric of the Columbia community by providing and supporting programs and services in the following areas: Critical Intellectual Inquiry; Mentoring; Advocacy; Social Justice and Inter/Intra Cultural Programming; Leadership Development and Training; Diversity Education and Training; and Cultural & Identity Based Student Organization Advising.

Other student organizations and groups include
Intercultural Resource Center: http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/multicultural/aboutus/rescom/irc.php
Cultural Groups: http://www.cuactivitiesboard.org/groups.php
Asian American Alliance
Chinese Students Club
Club Bangla
Club Zamana
Hapa Club
Hong Kong Students and Scholars Society
Japan Society
Korean Students Association
Liga Filipina
Organization of Pakistani Students
Singapore Students Association
Sounds of China
South East Asian League
Taiwanese American Students Association
Thai Sabai
Vietnamese Students Association
African Students Association
Black Students Organization
Caribbean Students Association
Chicano Caucus
Cuban and American Students Association
Haitian Students Association
Organization of Latin American Students
Por Colombia
Student Organization of Latinos
Malama Hawaii
Native American Council

Columbia offers a wide range of student clubs, organizations, and initiatives, including Proud Colors, Society of Women Engineers, Black Theater Ensemble, Multicultural Business Association, Grupo Quisqueyano, Native American Council, and many, many more.
Student Clubs and Organizations, http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/learn/studentlife/activities

A variety of alumni affinity groups help sustain links to Columbia University and strengthen connections between alumni and student communities.
Alumni Affinity Groups, http://alumni.columbia.edu/alumni-community/alumni-clubs/affiliated-organizations

Undergraduate Programs
Bridge to Ph.D. Program in the Natural Sciences – Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
This program enhances the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs in the natural sciences. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Bridge Program provides an intensive research, coursework, and mentoring experience to post-baccalaureates seeking to strengthen their graduate school applications and to prepare for the transition into Ph.D. programs. Bridge Scholars have been sponsored by the Departments of Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Neuroscience, Physics, and Psychology. There are currently ten participants in the program. Twelve of the participants who completed the program in its first three years have been accepted into doctoral programs at leading universities.

Summer Research Program – Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
The goal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Program (SRP) for undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups is to prepare students for doctoral study in their area of academic and intellectual interest. The program's purpose is to expose underrepresented students to graduate-level academic research so that they may begin to view the academy as a viable and realistic career path, thereby addressing the shortage of underrepresented minorities in doctoral study and college and university faculties. The program provides promising undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups all over the United States with the opportunity to participate in an eight to ten week summer internship program conducting graduate-level research under the supervision of a Columbia University faculty mentor.

Biostatistics Enrichment Summer Training Diversity Program (BEST) – Mailman School of Public Health
With funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, BEST was established by the Mailman School’s Department of Biostatistics in 2008 to expand and diversify the behavioral and biomedical sciences’ workforce by introducing undergraduates from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with disabilities to biostatistics and quantitative applications in cardiovascular, blood, sleep, and pulmonary disease research.
Summer Program for Minority Students – Columbia University Medical Center

The Summer Public Health Scholars Program is a partnership among Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing and Mailman School of Public Health. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the goal of the program is to increase the knowledge and interest in public health and biomedical science among minority undergraduates. The program will recruit and train 50 students a year from community colleges, four-year colleges, and post-baccalaureate programs who are undecided about their career choices. The intensive 10-week program allows students to work alongside public health professional mentors while taking courses in epidemiology, public health and health disparities, and cultural competence.
Summer Program for Underrepresented Students (SPURS) - College of Physicians & Surgeons
The Summer Program for Underrepresented Students (SPURS) provides an intense undergraduate biomedical research experience for talented students from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in the biology and chemistry fields. SPURS main goal is to help minority science undergraduate students, primarily from New York City, achieve a career in science by pursuing an advanced degree (Ph.D., M.D./ Ph.D. or M.D.). SPURS participants are accepted primarily from the City University of New York (CUNY) senior colleges, including Hunter, Brooklyn, Queens, and City Colleges. The program has been supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Fund and other private donors. Now in its ninth year, over 100 students from underrepresented groups have been trained in the biological sciences. With funding from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the program will be expanded into the neurosciences to leverage the training opportunities with the outstanding faculty at Columbia University.

Summer Medical Education Program (SMDEP) – College of Physicians & Surgeons and College of Dental Medicine
The Summer Medical Education Program (SMDEP) is a six-week residential program for first and second year college students interested in careers in medicine and dentistry. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program aims to assist students who represent economic, geographic, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity in their pursuit of gaining admission to medical or dental school. Columbia University is one of 12 academic institutions hosting the program across the nation.

State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) – College of Physicians & Surgeons
The State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) is a rigorous academic program for underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged high school students, grades 9-12, interested in science, medicine or related health professions. The program aims to be a pipeline that will assist with increasing the number of underrepresented minority physicians, scientists and other health professionals. The program exposes students to basic and medical sciences, provides career awareness in science and medical professions, and college preparation.

Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) MedPrep Scholars Program – College of Physicians & Surgeons
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources and Services Administration, the program builds on the collective expertise of four institutions—Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New Jersey Medical School, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, and the Manhattan Staten Island Area Health Education Center – to expand health careers preparation for minority and disadvantaged students from junior high school through medical school with the goal of increasing competitiveness for medical school.

The Sophie Davis BS-DDS Pilot Program Collaboration – College of Dental Medicine
The Sophie Davis BS-DDS Program is dedicated to producing broadly-educated, highly-skilled primary care practitioners to provide quality services to under served communities. The program is designed as a seven-year integrated curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science (BS) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degrees. After successfully completing the BS degree at The City College of New York, students then transfer to the cooperating dental school for their final two years of clinical training. In the inaugural year of the program, five students will be accepted for eventual transfer to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.

Masters Programs
Sustainable Engineering Graduate Scholars Program: Diversifying the Pipeline to the PhD - School of Engineering and Applied Science
The onset of the 21st century has prompted a reevaluation of the role of engineers in light of current societal and environmental challenges. The goal of this National Science Foundation supported program, Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM), is to prepare a cohort of engineers to meet such challenges, with an emphasis on the areas of water, energy and infrastructure. Building upon undergraduate and PhD-level engineering education reform undertaken by the faculty team leading the project, this program targets the Masters level. A research-based M.S. degree will provide S-STEM Scholars with a well-supported “segue” between an undergraduate degree in engineering or applied science and a doctoral program. The program emphasizes the recruitment and retention of graduate students from underrepresented populations. Mentoring, cohort building and leadership development are important aspects of the program.

Doctoral and Junior Faculty Programs
Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program – School of Engineering and Applied Science
The National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program was developed to meet the challenges of educating U.S. PhD scientists and engineers who will pursue careers in research and education, with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become, in their own careers, leaders and creative agents for change. Offering traineeships to students pursuing their PhDs, the program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to a world-class, broadly inclusive, and globally engaged science and engineering workforce. Columbia University is home to four IGERT programs:

Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design: A New PhD Program Between Architecture and Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science
The goal of this IGERT program is to integrate architectural and engineering PhD education in a new interdisciplinary program that aims to fundamentally transform design and planning approaches to contemporary urban expansion. IGERT trainees will make use of emerging science and technology research at the interface of architecture and engineering to develop new paradigms that enable urban areas to adapt to changing requirements, absorb disturbance and effectively reorganize and recover, and reduce their impact on the natural environment. Collaborations with universities in urban environments located within Europe, Africa and Asia will provide a global perspective to the program. This IGERT program will graduate a cohort of diverse doctoral students who can help shape the policies, priorities, and investments needed for contemporary urbanization. Participants include students and faculty from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, School of International and Public Affairs, Mailman School of Public Health, and Earth Institute.
Engineering Photons for a Sustainable Future – School of Engineering and Applied Science
This IGERT program facilitates the unique interdisciplinary training of PhD scientists and engineers in the field of sustainable and renewable energy solutions. The energy economy is an immediate and grand challenge that must be tackled by current and future generations of scientists and engineers. This program addresses this challenge by focusing on technology innovations in two subsystems of direct relevance: next-generation solar photovoltaics, and next-generation efficient optical data and communications networks. The cross-training scientific research is synergistically integrated with innovative educational approaches and an emphasis on underrepresented groups. Working with major industrial partners, the IGERT will conduct outreach to undergraduate and K-12 schools in Harlem and Nashville, encouraging underrepresented groups to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas of higher education.

From Data to Solutions: A New PhD Program in Transformational Data & Information Sciences Research and Innovation – School of Engineering and Applied Science
This IGERT program provides PhD students with the interdisciplinary training necessary to extract useful information from vast amounts of collected data. Consumer opinions, information on disease and its symptoms, and breaking information on social websites allow information gathering on a scale previously unknown. Columbia University and the City University of New York, in collaboration with international partners in Argentina and Brazil, have created a new program involving the interdisciplinary training of students in making sense of big data. Researchers from Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, and Statistics are partnering with Biomedical Informatics, Business and Journalism to educate this next generation of information scientists. Aided by advisors from large corporations, major research labs, and small start-up companies, the program encourages IGERT trainees to pursue patents, and to apply their research in society. A major goal of the program is to attract more diverse students to information sciences by emphasizing real world applications, a supportive environment, and diverse faculty role models.

Optical techniques for actuation, sensing, and imaging of biological systems – School of Engineering and Applied Science
In this IGERT program a new generation of scientists and engineers will be trained through a set of five research thrusts that cross three fundamental core competency areas: optics, photonics, and sensor electronics; biomolecular detection and cellular-level analysis; and applications to medicine and public health. With 19 faculty members representing academic departments across Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Arts and Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Teachers College, and incorporating strong interaction with City College, Queens College, and The Cooper Union in New York City, IGERT trainees will experience a truly diverse community sharing in integrated educational and research activities and will be exposed to a wide spectrum of cutting-edge applications. This program fulfills a compelling need to train a diverse workforce of U. S. scientists and engineers trained in an area of large and growing competitive importance to the United States. Significant resources are committed to ensuring recruitment and retention of participants from underrepresented groups.

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) – Mailman School of Public Health
The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), an education project funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, is aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented students who enter research careers in public health. The program supports eight doctoral students with one to two years of research mentoring, tuition benefits, and funding to attend scientific conferences.

HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators – School of Social Work
Columbia University’s HIV Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators (HISTP), funded by National Institutes of Mental Health, is a multidisciplinary training program that seeks to develop and facilitate the growth of scientists from underrepresented groups conducting HIV-related dissemination and implementation research. The program’s goals are to address the urgent need to increase dissemination and implementation research to ensure that effective HIV prevention interventions are delivered to the communities that need them, and to train a new generation of HIV researchers to conduct such research to make a major impact in reducing new HIV infections, particularly among communities of color. Fellows participating in the program receive two years of support via an innovative dual mentorship structure, training seminars, workshops and institutes, pilot study support, and grant writing assistance. The program utilizes a distance learning approach which allows junior faculty from across the U.S. to participate from their respective institutions.
Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) – Mailman School of Public Health/College of Physicians and Surgeons

The goal of Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) is to recruit and train junior scientists who can improve public health and reduce health disparities nationwide. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it provides rigorous training and mentoring opportunities to junior faculty members from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities and equips them with the essential skills needed to conduct comparative effectiveness research and secure grant funding to address today's most complex health problems.

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the faculty:

There are many ways that members of the Columbia community can take advantage of the University’s diverse array of programs, resources, and activities. There are numerous interdisciplinary academic centers that provide opportunities for engagement in innovative research, scholarship, teaching and service.
• Institute for Research in African-American Studies
● Center for Democracy, Tolerance, and Religion
● Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
● Center for Gender and Sexuality Law
● Columbia Global Centers
● Center for Institutional and Social Change
● Institute for Latin American Studies
● Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life
● Institute for Research on Women and Gender
● Center for the Study of Science and Religion
● Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference
● South Asia Institute

Inclusive Academic Searches
Columbia University is committed to creating a diverse and engaging academic environment. Preparing students for citizenship in a pluralistic world and keeping Columbia at the forefront of knowledge are at the core of the University’s mission. Critical to this undertaking is the conduct of inclusive academic searches to recruit outstanding faculty from underrepresented groups to more closely reflect the composition of the national pool of qualified candidates. In addition, dual career considerations often arise in faculty recruitments. Resource materials for inclusive academic searches offered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Planning are currently under development.

Faculty Mentoring
Faculty mentoring resources offered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Planning are currently under development. For an example of an existing mentoring program at Columbia, read about the Mailman School of Public Health's junior faculty mentoring program. Designed to enhance the career success of junior faculty, the program was launched in 2010 under the leadership of Professor Andrew Davidson, formerly Executive Vice Dean of the Mailman School and currently Vice Provost for Academic Planning.

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the staff:

Columbia is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. To that end, it provides an ambitious training program to insure that staff are aware of the resources available to them and their rights and obligations under Columbia’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA)
Training Programs on Discrimination and Harassment, http://eoaa.columbia.edu/services/training-programs
Professional development and training are integral to successful implementation of the University's Employment Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) provides training programs to educate faculty, staff and students about conduct that may constitute a violation of University policy, and to inform them of the procedures that are available to manage alleged violations. While any member of the University community may attend, management and supervisory personnel are especially encouraged to participate in these programs, and are expected to be knowledgeable about the University’s policies and procedures. The programs are available to all University departments, and the sessions may be designed to tailor and meet the needs of specific participants. In the academic year 2011-12, 50+ presentations were made to offices and departments.

Human Resources (HR)
Human Resources offers a range of courses intended to help underrepresented staff succeed in their work and develop their skills.
Online Course Doing the Right Thing http://hr.columbia.edu/learn-dev
Doing the Right Thing is an online training program designed to maintain a positive work environment and promote a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. It was developed collaboratively by colleagues across the University in accord with Columbia's Employment Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures. There are two courses available, one for managers and one for staff. They are required courses.
HR Courses Spring 2012 (partial list)
Developing the Leader Within
This course helps staff members identify and develop the leadership skills that inspire teams to produce results.
Understanding Different Work Styles
This course help employees find success in handling people who work and communicate in different ways
Resolving Conflict and Subtle Discord
This course helps employees find solutions where there are conflicting interests

Local Employment Office for Community Job Seekers
Columbia University is located in a dense, urban area with an open campus where the local community is always welcome. The campus offers many programs to the local community each year and offers them a home for that information on our neighbors website page. Columbia University operates a full-service employment and training office at 125th Street and Broadway to interview local residents for jobs at Columbia, provide them job information with other employers around the city and provide basic job skills such as resume writing. The Center offers free access to computer terminals, so that job seekers may us our online system to apply for open administrative positions at Columbia University and other employers.
Summer Local Intern Program -Columbia University offers a program of local paid, internships for high-school students in the Upper Manhattan and southernmost Bronx areas. In collaboration with the local community Columbia University offered a five-week, paid internship to 24 local high school students in the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone with zip codes of 10025, 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10031, 10032, 10033, 10034, 10035, 10037, 10039, 10040, 10451, 10454, 10455, 10474, 10034, 10035, 10037, 10039, 10040, 10451, 10454, 10455, 10474. This is the third year that the program has been offered with a greater number of university departments choosing to work with the interns.

The University hosts information sessions to attract local jobseekers especially minorities and women to learn about upcoming construction job opportunities at Columbia University including one for the 3595 Broadway project. Information was provided to 39 interested workers so they could be aware of the trades that would be needed on the project and provide their information to be given to sub-contractors hired. Columbia also hosts job fairs for MWL workers from the Upper Manhattan community including a fair that interviewed over 150 jobseekers to work on the Campbell Sports Center project and a union job fair with opportunities to work on four projects that included: 113th & Convent, 3595 Broadway, the G-20 Chiller project and The Boathouse Marsh that was attended by 254 job seekers.

Additional information:
and http://www.cuactivitiesboard.org/groups.php

The website URL where more information about the programs in each of the three categories is available :

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.