We are a coalition of organizations, academicians, administrators and educational researchers with the goal of developing STEM doctoral admissions procedures that are more effective and inclusive than those that rely on GRE scores.
The coalition began as the result of a multi-institutional study conducted by the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP), an alliance established in 1999 to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who earn PhD degrees in STEM. The study showed no relationship between GRE scores and STEM PhD attainment for women and a negative relationship between scores and PhD attainment for men. The study can be found at PLOS One paper.
In September, 2017, NEAGEP sponsored a workshop, “If Not GREs, Then What?”, in which 62 faculty, educational researchers and administrators from 26 institutions and organizations worked to develop new STEM doctoral admissions model. A white paper, Developing a More Predictive STEM PhD, summarizes the results of the workshop.
We now conduct interactive workshops to assist institutions and graduate programs in developing STEM PhD admissions policies and procedures designed to identify students who will thrive in their programs. We also serve as a clearing house for research on the effectiveness of various admissions strategies, and are developing a list of programs that no longer require GRE scores for admissions.
For more information, please contact Dr. Sandra Petersen
The Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP) was formed with NSF funding in 1999 and its goal is to increase diversity in STEM PhD programs. Several of the NEAGEP institutional coordinators participated in a research project in 2016-17 examining the relationship between GRE scores and PhD completion.
Sandra L. Petersen, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since 2003, she has directed the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate. Petersen has been PI or Project Director on NSF and NIH grants totaling over $17 million to support initiatives designed to overcome obstacles to diversifying the STEM workforce. She has received a number of teaching and mentoring awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama in 2015. Dr. Petersen is also a research-active neuroendocrinologist who has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and her research has been continuously funded by the NIH since she began her academic career in 1988. Dr. Petersen received her BA degree from Rutgers University and her MS and Ph.D. degrees from Oregon State University. She was a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland Medical School before joining the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1988 and then moving to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1994. Dr. Petersen led a recent multi-institutional study on the relationship between GRE scores and STEM PhD completion that was conducted across four NEAGEP institutions. The compelling evidence that the test was not predictive of PhD completion convinced Petersen that better admissions strategies are needed. In collaboration with Maverick and Boutique, she uses Zing interactive technology to help programs and institutions around the country develop those strategies.
Evelyn S. Erenrich, PhD, is Associate Dean at the School of Graduate Studies at Rutgers University; Director of Graduate Recruitment, Retention and Diversity (GR2aD); and a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. She earned her B.S. in Science Education and PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Cornell University, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. At Rutgers, she has served as the NEAGEP Coordinator since the program’s inception and as the Rutgers lead in several other multi-institutional consortia. Her current efforts focus on developing and leading implementation of strategies to promote inclusive excellence in graduate education. Initiatives span all transition points from undergraduate through junior faculty. Dr. Erenrich has overseen programs which have significantly increased the number of underrepresented students earning STEM doctorates. She directs an articulated MS/PhD Bridge program and an undergraduate research program and serves as co-PI on NSF REU sites. She currently serves as a Rutgers lead on several Big Ten Academic Alliance programs and is a member of the Executive Committee for the National Research Mentoring Network NRMN-CAN grant. She has also served as an associate teaching professor in chemistry, where she introduced major curricular innovations and developed early intervention strategies for at-risk students. Dr. Erenrich is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Rutgers Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering & Mathematics and for the Rutgers University Pipeline-Initiative to Maximize Student Development. Prior to her work in academia, Dr. Erenrich was a research scientist and manager in industry, developing enzyme-based biosensors.
Dovev Levine, PhD, is the Assistant Dean for the Graduate School at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the UNH NEAGEP Coordinator. Dr. Levine received his B.A. in History from UNH, his master’s in College Student Development & Counseling from Northeastern University, and his Ph.D. in Natural Resources & Environmental Studies from UNH. He joined the UNH Graduate School in 2003, and has provided leadership in a variety of areas, with a particular focus on graduate admissions, retention, diversity, and program policy. Since 2015, Dr. Levine has also served as a Research Fellow for the UNH Sustainability Institute, where he has served as a coordinator for their fellows program and the New England Municipal Sustainability Network, a formerly EPA-directed entity which UNHSI took over the project lead from. Dr. Levine has authored several publications, with his work appearing in the Review of Policy Research, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Occasional Paper Series and a chapter for the MIT Press book, Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions, Policymaking, and Multilevel Governance. Dr. Levine has also served on numerous committees and task forces related to graduate education, diversity and sustainability, including as project director for UNH’s affiliate membership in the Council of Graduate Schools’ PhD Career Pathways Project and UNH’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Achievement Program Advisory Committee.
Jim O. Vigoreaux, PhD, is the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at The University of Vermont (UVM) and served as the UVM NEAGEP Coordinator from 2010-2013. Dr. Vigoreaux earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras) and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma. He joined the Biology Department at UVM in 1991 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Cell Biology and Genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005 he was appointed Chair of Biology, a position he held until 2015, and in 2012 he was named the Breazzano Family Green & Gold Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics. Dr. Vigoreaux is a muscle biologist who has published extensively on the genetics, development, biomechanics, and function of muscle, often taking a multidisciplinary approach and forging international collaborations. His lab at UVM has provided research training to over one hundred seventy students and post-doctoral fellows, including Honors students, McNair Scholars, AGEP Scholars, Beckman Scholars, Masters, and Doctoral students. Dr. Vigoreaux has served UVM in many different leadership capacities including Director of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (2003-2013), Director of the Beckman Scholars Program (2014-2017), and Associate Director of the Vermont Genetics Network (2013-2015). Dr. Vigoreaux has served on the editorial board of several journal and is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports, Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility, and Biology. He is an elected member of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering.
Patricia B. Campbell, PhD, President of Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc, has been involved in research and evaluation on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and issues of race/ethnicity, gender and disability for over 30 years. Her BS (Mathematics) is from LeMoyne College and MS (Instructional Technology) and PhD (Teacher Education) are from Syracuse University. Dr. Campbell an Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Fellow, has authored more than 100 publications including coauthoring Building Evaluation Capacity: Guide I Designing A Cross Project Evaluation and Guide II Collecting and Using Data in Cross-Project Evaluations”; “A Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Projects”; “Engagement, Capacity and Continuity: A Trilogy for Student Success;” "Good Schools in Poor Neighborhoods: Defying Demographics; Achieving Success" and The AAUW Report: How Schools Shortchange Girls, which she coauthored. Her website, www.BeyondRigor.org, provides easy to use tips to improve the quality of evaluations and research done with diverse populations. Dr. Campbell’s varied professional activities include conducting educational evaluation and research training in South Africa and Uganda and serving as an expert witness in the Citadel sex discrimination case. Dr. Campbell has been involved with issues tied to the use and misuse of standardized testing in academic decision-making for many years. In the 1980s, responding to a request from the ACLU, she filed an affidavit as a measurement expert as to the discriminatory nature of SAT when used alone as to determine NYS Scholarship winners. In 1991, she along with her husband and daughter, published an article, "Taking the SAT at 12." in College Prep, which described her daughter’s experience taking the SAT when she was 12, including that her daughter received information before she took the test, that girls did not score as well as boys (a real stereotype threat no-no).
Robert A. Schaeffer has served as Public Education Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, since its founding in 1985. He also is a member of the organization's Board of Directors. Prior to the creation of FairTest, Mr. Schaeffer was Editorial Writer at the NBC-TV affiliate in Boston and Research Director of the Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs. He also worked for several years as a research associate at the Education Research Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was both an undergraduate and graduate student. Bob Schaeffer is the author of Standardized Tests and Teacher Competence (School Voices, Fall, 1996), coauthor of Standing Up to the SAT (ARCO/Simon & Schuster, 1989) and a contributor to SAT Wars: The Case for Test-Optional College Admissions (Teachers College Press, 2012). He has also coauthored many FairTest publications, including, Standardized Tests and Our Children: A Guide to Testing Reform, Implementing Performance Assessments, The SAT Coaching Cover-Up, Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit, and Sex Bias in College Admissions Tests: How Women Lose Out. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in the East, as well as Strathmore's Who's Who and the National Directory of Who's Who in Executives and Professionals. Bob relocated to Southwest Florida from FairTest’s Boston base in 1999, but continues to work for the organization as a tele-commuter.
Frank Bayliss, PhD, Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2008. As an active research/teacher in a minority serving institution, it became clear to Dr. Bayliss in the early 1990’s that as an institution we needed to provide opportunities to science majors to 1) conduct research while pursuing undergraduate study and 2) to relieve graduate students conducting master’s level study from prolonged time to graduation brought about by the need to work to afford college. Thus, he worked to obtain grant funding to support PhD-bound undergraduates and master’s students to conduct year-round research with adequate income to “buy out” their time from outside jobs. His efforts resulted in a college-wide office called the Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office to manage the grants and to lead the effort. His group was able to compete for funding from the NIH, NSF, USDE and DOD to support financially needy, first generation, women, and under-represented minority (UR) students in proportions similar to our enrollments. In each training grant, mentoring was at the core of every program. Most students have little idea what to expect in college let alone the demands of majoring in STEM disciplines. It is imperative that a strong mentoring program be established for each student to “lead them through” the graduate school maze. It became apparent from experience and the literature, that the GRE was a major obstacle to entrance into STEM PhD degree programs for women and UR students based on the inherent biases in the test. Dr. Bayliss led a successful effort by NIH Program Directors to convince the NIH to drop the GRE requirement in T-32 applications.
Daniel Druckman, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University, and is an Honorary Professor at Macquarie University in Sydney and at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He has also been a member of the faculty at Sabanci University in Istanbul, a faculty associate at the Uppsala University’s Department of Peace and Conflict Research and a visiting professor at National Yunlin University of Science and Technology in Taiwan, at the University of Melbourne, at the Australian National University and at the University of Western Australia. He has published widely on such topics as international negotiation, nationalism, nonverbal communication, peacekeeping and research methodologies. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement awards from the International Association for Conflict Management (2003) and from the International Biennial on Negotiation in Paris (2016). He is also the current recipient (2018) of IACM’s Rubin theory to practice award. He has also received outstanding book awards for Doing Research: Methods of Inquiry for Conflict Analysis (Sage 2005) and Evaluating Peace Operations with Paul F. Diehl (Lynne Reinner, 2010). His research on peace agreements has been supported by the Swedish Research Council. He is also working on admissions processes used by graduate departments in the social sciences.