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AACTE Holmes Scholars Program

The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program is now a benefit of your AACTE membership! All institutions with doctoral programs in education are eligible to join.

The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program consists of doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds pursuing careers in education at AACTE member institutions. The program provides mentorship, peer support and rich professional development opportunities to the Scholars. The program also helps AACTE member institutions increase the diversity of their faculty by developing an outstanding pool of candidates for faculty and other leadership positions.

The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program provides a service to the profession by supporting the recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented students in doctoral programs.

Download the AACTE Holmes Scholars Program brochure to learn benefits to institutions and Scholars, and how to join.

Click here to view the Selection Criteria for AACTE Holmes Scholars® and the AACTE Holmes Scholars ® Sponsoring Institution Participation Requirements.

Program Benefits

Benefits for Institutions

The AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program and its benefits can be used by participant institutions as a recruitment tool for new doctoral students of color.

  • Participation in the program enhances the retention and graduation rates of doctoral students of color by providing a support network of peers and unique opportunities for professional experiences.
  • Participation in the program demonstrates and enhances the institutions' role as leaders in supporting diversity, which is relevant to national accreditation standards.
  • Participant programs have priority in the annual Holmes Scholars Job Fair, which takes place during the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Institutions receive free distribution of faculty search announcements among Holmes Scholars® and Holmes Alumni.
  • Participant Institutions will be able to nominate their Holmes Scholars to serve in NCATE's Board of Examiners.
  • Participant institutions will be recognized on the AACTE Holmes Scholars® website, including cross-links to their programs' websites.
  • Participant Institutions will be recognized during the AACTE Annual Meeting.

Benefits for Scholars

Holmes Scholars® sponsoring institutions will be able to offer their scholars:

  • Membership in a national network of peers with access to dedicated online social networks.
  • Mentoring opportunities by Holmes Scholar Alumni currently in academia and other leadership positions.
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities at the national level, such as participation in conference presentations, review panels, policy/advocacy training, and sponsored publications.

Specifically, your Holmes Scholars® will receive:

  • Dedicated mentoring programs at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Mentoring sessions at the AERA Annual Meeting.
  • A job fair at the AACTE Annual Meeting and access to position announcements through the year. 
  • Opportunities to present their research at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • A one-week Annual Holmes Scholars® Summer Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., including participation in AACTE's Day on the Hill and networking events associated with the AACTE State Leaders Institute.
  • Opportunities to be part of the pool of reviewers for the AACTE Annual Meeting and various professional publications. 
  • Opportunities to become members of NCATE's Board of Examiners.
  • Enhanced networking and recruitment opportunities via a dedicated website and social media tools. This will include an online directory of Scholars organized by research interest.

What members are saying about the impact the Holmes Scholars® program has had on their institutions? Learn more


The program is open to all AACTE member institutions with doctoral programs in education. Only those member institutions that officially enroll in the AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program will be able to use the Holmes Scholars® name and to have their doctoral students participate in the networking and professional development opportunities offered through the program.

Program Costs

There is NO additional fee assessed to AACTE members to participate in this program. Institutions will be responsible for supporting Scholars' as per the participation requirements, including travel costs to participate in AACTE's Annual Meeting and Holmes Scholars® Summer Policy Institute.

Are you interested in participating in the AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program?

Complete Institution Interest Form

Program Oversight

The AACTE Committee on Global Diversity acts as an advisory group for the development of the AACTE Holmes Scholars® Program. The Committee also oversees the mentoring and professional development activities offered to Scholars in collaboration with NAHSA. Other AACTE groups, such as the Committee on Research and Dissemination, will also engage the Scholars in various professional development opportunities. Holmes Scholars® Council The Holmes Scholars®' Council was established in 2001 to provide a formal structure for maintenance of social and scholarly relationships among Holmes Scholars®. 

Current members of the Council are:

  • President: Kayla Harris, Penn State University
  • Vice-President: Willys Michel, Unviersity of Central Florida
  • Secretary: Diandra Prescod, University of Central Florida
  • Historian: Kristopher Hall, University of Central Florida
  • Research Coordinator: Joseph Kelly, Florida A&M University


AACTE assumed ownership of the Holmes Scholars® Program upon dissolution of the Holmes Partnership in 2010. The Holmes Scholars® program was established in 1991 by the Holmes Group (which evolved into the Holmes Partnership) with the primary goal of establishing equity, diversity and cultural competence in programs of higher education and PK-12 schools. The program was designed to enrich the scholarly experience and professional training of talented graduate-level students from underrepresented minority backgrounds or students with disabilities pursuing careers in education. Since its inception, more than 600 students have benefited from the program, and more than 200 are now in tenure-track and leadership positions, including Lora Bailey,  Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lane College), and Deans of Education Dianne Mark (Bloomsburg University) Wanda Blanchett (University of Missouri, Kansas City) and AACTE was a national partner of the Holmes Partnership from its beginning.

Since June 2001, AACTE and the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and later the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, jointly assumed the management and coordination of the Holmes Scholars® Program for the Holmes Partnership. AACTE staff has also worked very closely with the Scholars Council, an elected body of Scholars representing each region of the United States, as well as with the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA) in the preparation of an annual conference and job fair. Scholars' evaluations of the program have consistently shown that its most valuable aspects are the networking and professional development opportunities offered during the Annual Meeting and the annual Holmes Scholars® Summer Policy Institute.

Further Program and Fund Development

AACTE is exploring partnerships with organizations that serve minorities and students with disabilities, as well as potential funders, to develop additional services and activities and to create a scholarship fund for both institutions and Holmes Scholars®.

For further information please contact Alicia Ardila-Rey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Holmes Scholars® Program Institution Interest Form
  • Complete and submit the Holmes Scholars® Program Institution Interest Form below
  • Upon receipt, complete and submit the Institutional Commitment Form and the online Institutional Information Form
    (Provided by AACTE via e-mail after the interest form is received)
  • Select your Holmes Scholars and designate them as such in the AACTE Directory
    • Ensure new Scholars complete an online Holmes Scholar Registration Form
      (Provided by AACTE via e-mail after the interest form is received)

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