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Howard Announces New Humanities and Social Sciences Program 

Students take notes during class. Photo Courtesy of the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars Program website.

Howard University will establish a new undergraduate to graduate school pipeline program that will put about 15 incoming freshmen on a track towards a Ph.D. in the liberal arts. 

According to the website, the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholars Program (H3SP) will cover 75 to 100 percent of students’ tuition, and will include room and board, a meal plan and a textbook stipend. Students will be required to participate in a six week summer bridge program, where they will engage in a full schedule of traditional classes and off campus activities. 

At the end of the six weeks, participants will have a study abroad experience related to their field. The program also features mentored meetings with career professionals and preparation for summer research internships. 

Students can apply by scanning the QR in the flier or by clicking on this link.

A recent study from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences found that only 5.9 percent of African Americans achieved their doctorate degrees in a humanities based field. H3SP was created to address the disparities with the representation of Black and other minority students in the social sciences and humanities. 

“The number of African Americans in the professoriate in humanities fields is still abysmally low. We won’t solve this national problem at Howard alone,” Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Dana Williams said.

Zoe Pierson, a senior English major from Maryland who plans to pursue graduate studies in speech pathology, told The Hilltop, “I wish I had known about this program earlier as I am planning to attend graduate school next year.”

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“Understanding what it takes to earn a Ph.D. shouldn’t be a mystery,” Dr. Williams said. “Our students have the benefit of seeing faculty of color in front of them every day, so they know it’s possible…With that obstacle out of the way, we can demystify the process and put students on the path to earning a PhD and joining the professoriate,” she added. 

Williams worked alongside Provost & Chief Academic Officer Dr. Anthony Wutoh and several others on the proposal and creation of H3SP. It will be led by Ronald Smith, the director of a similar program for science, technology, engineering and math focused students called “Karsh STEM Scholars.”

Smith told The Hilltop about some upcoming plans to merge the two programs, “We’re hoping to find intersections between the experiences that the two groups are having, and connect them as they broaden their understanding. There’s an unique opportunity to get them working together,” he said. 

When creating the basis of the H3SP, Dr. Williams and Dr. Wutoh made sure to keep the Howard Forward plan in mind. “One of the pillars of Howard Forward is to enhance academic excellence by supporting faculty, research and student development, academic rigor and retention, through strategic recruitment and continuous improvement of academic programs,” Wutoh said.

 “This program is a component of the Strategic Plan, which is to identify, pursue, and promote opportunities for new high-quality, distinct, and compelling programs with capacity to grow enrollments. It will also contribute towards addressing societal problems, and creating innovative opportunities for our students,” he continued.

Dr. Wutoh also elaborated on how the program will be funded using internal funds, but is hopeful to find a sponsor to help fund the program in the years to come.

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“This program will put academic excellence on display for these fields and the students who pursue them. The students in this program will be among the top students at Howard, not just academically, but with their justice orientation as well,” said Dr. Williams.

Application deadline is on Feb. 15. 

Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee


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