Researchers from Three State HBCUS Awarded UNC Undergraduate Research Grant


TheUniversity of North Carolina System Undergraduate Research Program awarded a$35,000 grant to identify strategies for enhancing the current undergraduateresearch enterprise to a team of researchers from three North Carolina HBCUs.The research team is comprised of lead investigator, Dr. Geleana Alston fromNorth Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and co-principalinvestigators, Dr. Tyechia Paul of Fayetteville State University, and Dr. ErinLynch of Winston-Salem State University.

Theproject, entitled “CURE-DEAL: A Tri-Institutional Collaboration forEquity-Focused Digital Engagement of Adult Learners” will utilize this grantfunding to establish a consortium across the five public HBCUs in NorthCarolina to engage faculty in professional development activities to supportand enhance practices in equity-focused digital engagement of adult learners inundergraduate research.

“Accordingto the 2019 Fall enrollment data from the 5 HBCUs within the UNC System,approximately 20% of undergraduate students were adult learners aged 25 orolder,” said Alston, an associate professor in the Department ofLeadership Studies and Adult Education at North Carolina A&T. “As thefirst, multi-institutional team to explore the ever-growing, yet understudied,undergraduate post-traditional adult learner population at HBCUs within the UNCSystem, this proposed project is timely for its contribution to understanding apopulation believed essential to advancing the initiatives to increaseundergraduate research engagement.”

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Over the next year, the project team will bring awareness to faculty to enhance research skills development toward expanding access to undergraduate research opportunities. This will be done by establishing a professional learning community across the five HBCUs in the UNC System.  The training series and professional learning community check-in meetings will be fully virtual. This project commences immediately and will continue through June 2021. 

Thisproject will advance the strategic priorities of the UNC System andFayetteville State University. It will do so by enhancing faculty’s high impactpractices of incorporating undergraduate research opportunities in courses,while also expanding equitable access and participation of the underrepresentedstudent group of undergraduate post-traditional adult learners, to foster moreinclusive and effective learning.

About Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University is aconstituent institution of The University of North Carolina System and thesecond-oldest institution of higher education in the state, having been foundedin 1867. FSU is a historically black university offering degrees at thebaccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. With more than 6,700 students,Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in thenation. To learn more about Fayetteville State University, visit

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