Webinar Series: Building Successful Academic Pathway Programs

How can a university’s professors and administrators help build a strong academic pathway for underrepresented students? Over the next few months, join Curtis Byrd and Rihana Mason of Georgia State University, and various pathway program directors as they join Social Science Space to explore what makes for a successful pipeline program.  

In their new title Academic Pipeline Project: Diversifying Pathways from the Bachelors to the Professoriate (published open access by Lever Press), Byrd and Mason utilize the THRIVE Index (Type, History, Research, Inclusion, Identity, Voice, and Expectation) they created to contextualize and compare pipeline programs across the United States. The webinar series will dive deeper into the title’s content, allowing for pathway representatives to expand upon their programs and allow for audience Q&A. Each session will focus on a different part of the academic pipeline, including precollegiate, collegiate, and postgraduate/faculty.

The first event takes place on June 30 at 9 AM PT/noon ET.

This one-hour webinar, “Positioning Underrepresented Minority Students for College: Best Practices of Precollegiate Pathway Programs,” will kick of a series of three conversations with Byrd and Mason drawing from Academic Pipeline Programs while panelists will share best practices of their programs. Representatives from the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) network of schools and the College Advising Corps will discuss best practices in positioning underrepresented minority students for success in college. Be sure to check Social Science Space for updates on the next events in the series, taking place in late July and September.  

Curtis Byrd

Curtis D. Byrd  is the special advisor to the provost at Georgia State University (GSU). Dr. Byrd consults and provides leadership in GSU faculty and graduate student diversity and inclusion efforts. Most recently he served as a research associate and consultant for the HBCU STEM Undergraduate Success Center at Morehouse College. Prior to his time at Morehouse he served for eight years as the assistant dean of graduate studies and senior associate director of graduate enrollment at Clark Atlanta University. Before this he served as director of special programs (undergraduate research) and associate director of the McNair Scholars program at University of Florida and director of the McNair Scholars Program at GSU.  

Rihana Mason

Rihana S. Mason is a research scientist at the Urban Child Study Center at GSU. Prior to joining the UCSC, she served as an associate professor in psychology at Emmanuel College for several years where she helped to expand the undergraduate curriculum in psychology. She is the 2021-22 president of the Southeastern Psychological Association and a member of the Psi Chi Diversity Advisory Committee. 

Ariel Cochrane Brown

Ariel Cochrane-Brown is regional director, Southeast on the national program team, leading and supporting College Advising Corps programs and special projects in three states and working in collaboration with colleagues who lead programs in the Southeastern region. Before taking her current role, she served for two years as an adviser with CAC at the University of North Carolina. Most recently, Ariel directed a signature retention program at GSU that assisted academically at-risk students with their transition into college. She also led innovative efforts to increase the retention, progression, and graduation rates of students at the university. 

Johnny Ray James

Johnny Ray James, assistant principal of humanities, KIPP Soul Academy. James’ education career began in the department of First-Year Experience at Louisiana State University. Since then, he has taught and led in Clayton County and Atlanta Public Schools, and KIPP Metro Atlanta & KIPP New Jersey (Newark) Charter School networks. In Newark, he served as the school’s Director of Extended Learning and 8th Grade Level Chair.

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