Analytic Hub


The ultimate goal of the STEM US Center is to understand not only WHAT academic interventions are effective in helping HBCU students succeed but also WHY they work. While, the Center is administratively housed at Morehouse, the theoretical framing for the investigation of interventions and data interpretation and analysis is modeled on previous work done at Virginia State University.

As director of the Center’s, Analytic Hub, Talley will lead a team of post-docs and graduate students from various HBCU’s on methods to identify, replicate and scale best practices for STEM persistence and retention. One primary goal is to inform HBCU faculty and administrators, from up to as many as 50 HBCU’s, on data-driven and theoretically framed models that consider the student’s prior background and current learning context. The next step will be to disseminate the most effective interventions that will increase retention across all STEM disciplines and improve graduation rates to above the national average.

For more informations, check out the Analytic Hub website. 

Cheryl Talley, Ph.D. - Director


July 18-21, 2022, near Baltimore, MD.

Students bring a “self-understanding” to their learning context along with academic knowledge. For minoritized individuals this means that they bring an awareness of the social positions assigned to them, according to Nolen, Ward and Horn (2015). Social scientists who examine educational disparities are also aware of the social positions assigned to minoritized students as well as the rank order given to the schools that they attend. However, the research theories and methodologies that are commonly used don’t always take caste-like reality into account. Because of this limiting perspective, the oft-cited comparison studies of outcome measures from well-resourced and under-resourced schools are circumscribed in scope and flawed in interpretation. Yet, dissemination of studies with this inherent oversight can and do influence perceptions, practices and policies.

One way to counter this “deficit lens” is to conceptualize studies in which low-ranked educational settings are not automatically perceived as deficient. In addition, comparisons between high achieving and lower achieving students from the same context can help elucidate the factors associated with high achievement within that context. Finally, examination of a representative set of contextual factors in addition to intrapersonal characteristics could point to more effective and impactful academic interventions. But how do we go about examining such a complex issue?  One way is to start with the stats.

You are invited to participate in a 3 day conversation aimed at an entirely new way of studying the so-called “achievement gap.”  During this 3 day thinking, working, and writing short course, participants will utilize real data to address a real problem. The data consists of responses to a 315 item survey that was designed around an asset-based theory,  the Phenomenological Variant of the Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST). The findings from nearly 800 entering students were further analyzed using machine learning to determine the relationship between affective factors identified by the theory and first semester grades.  The findings, which revealed differences between high and low performing entering HBCU students, could have ground-breaking implications.  

We now need your help. Please join us for this all-expense paid short course, in which participants will work together to further analyze data that could be of use to instructors, program directors and policy makers. One goal is to help design academic interventions that are effective and impactful. We seek to develop new research methodologies that are not only theoretically grounded, data driven and asset-focused but whose positive results can be replicated at your institution, by your program and even in your own classroom.

Save the date: July 18-21, Maritime Conference Center near Baltimore, MD.

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