In addition to the scientific impact of the research, CREST Center improved the research environment at NCCU by:
These improvements increased the participation of minority students from NCCU in STEM areas where they are critically underrepresented. The result is improved matriculation and graduation rates, especially among African American students, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged students. The research-oriented training enables NCCU students to interact with the larger research community, increasing their awareness of scientific careers and improving their competitiveness for these careers by honing their critical thinking skills and providing them with experience with modern instrumentation and measurement techniques. Strong partnerships with highly capable institutions also improved recruitment of both undergraduate and graduate students and enable students to pursue thesis topics at the forefront of current research.
An HBCU research network is created to increase opportunities for participation of HBCU students in advanced research and to facilitate collaboration among HBCU faculty and students with research centers, national laboratories, and industry. These activities have an immediate impact on our educational mission by: enhancing the master’s degree program and developing a Ph.D. program, by strengthening research programs and training postdoctoral researchers. An annual two-week summer workshop for high school and undergraduate students and faculty and a material seminar series and outreach activities targeting minority communities also are developed.