Holmes Program

The AACTE Holmes Program supports students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing graduate degrees in education at AACTE member institutions. Founded in 1991 for doctoral students, the Holmes Program now provides mentorship, peer support, and professional development opportunities at three levels:

  • The AACTE Holmes Scholars Program supports doctoral and post-doctoral students. Learn more
  • The AACTE Holmes Master’s Program supports master’s students at current Holmes institutions. Learn more

Boston University is piloting a Holmes Postdoctoral Program in Education and Human Development in which postdoctoral fellows engage in a 2-year research and residency program.

Learn more about the education-related careers and pathways pursued by Holmes students.

Participation in the Holmes Program is open to all AACTE member institutions; AACTE charges no additional fee to enroll. Sponsoring institutions are responsible for supporting their Holmes students according to the participation requirements.

Learn more about the history and governance of the AACTE Holmes Program.

Program Benefits

Benefits for Sponsoring Institutions

  • Participation in the AACTE Holmes Program is an effective tool for recruiting new students of color.
  • Participation in the program enhances students’ retention and graduation rates by providing a support network of peers and unique opportunities for professional experiences.
  • Participation in the program demonstrates and enhances the institution’s role as a leader in supporting diversity in the PK-20 education workforce.
  • Institutions receive free distribution of faculty search announcements in the Scholars Report monthly e-newsletter.
  • Sponsoring institutions are recognized in AACTE materials.

Benefits for Students

  • Membership in a national network of peers with access to dedicated online social networks.
  • Mentoring opportunities by Holmes Program alumni currently in academia and other leadership positions.
  • Opportunities to present research at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Dedicated mentoring programs at the AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Annual Holmes Summer Policy Institute in Washington, DC, including participation in AACTE’s Day on the Hill and networking events associated with the AACTE State Leaders Institute.
  • Annual Holmes Dissertation Retreat and Research Symposium hosted by a Holmes Program institution.
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities at the national level, such as participation in conference presentations and policy/advocacy training.

Co-sponsored by the PNC Foundation and Florida Atlantic University, the Holmes Research and Dissertation Retreat will equip Holmes scholars and graduate students will knowledge and tools to enhance their research productivity and navigate the dissertation process. Topics will include research methods and approaches, how to select and integrate a theoretical framework, how to identify grants and funding opportunities to support their dissertation and scholarship, and strategies to successfully publish and present their research to an interdisciplinary audience. Registration ($25) is required for scholars. The complete retreat agenda will be posted prior to the event.

Due to the hurricane watch issued by the National Weather Service and the expected impact in South Florida,  AACTE has postponed the Holmes Research and Dissertation Retreat to late winter or early spring to ensure the safety of its Holmes Scholars, faculty, and presenters. The rescheduled dates will be shared to AACTE members via its various communication channels.

AACTE Holmes Program
2022 Research and Dissertation Retreat

Sponsored by: AACTE, PNC Foundation, and Florida Atlantic University

Retreat Location: Florida Atlantic University | 777 Glades Road | Student Union – Boca Raton 203
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Three tracks:
1. Prospective and First Year Doctoral Students
2. Doctoral Students Approaching or Starting Candidacy
3. Doctoral Candidates

Hotel Information

Renaissance Hotel Boca Raton
2000 NW 19th Street
Boca Raton, FL
(561) 368-5252
Single or Double Occupancy: $169 per night

Retreat Location:
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Student Union – Boca Raton 203
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Call for Proposals: 2023 AACTE Holmes Preconference

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2023 AACTE Holmes preconference slated to occur on February 23 – 24 during the AACTE 75th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. This is an excellent opportunity to present your research and get feedback in an open and supportive setting. Proposals are encouraged to contribute to the AACTE conference theme: Innovation through Inspiration: Remembering the Past to Revolutionize the Future. Holmes Program participants may submit more than one proposal.

Please review the session descriptions below and submit your proposal before the submission deadline, Monday, October 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. PST. Please submit proposals that are no more than 500 words excluding references. 

Roundtable – 30 minutes: This is a relaxed session format for master’s and doctoral students who have started to formulate their research but are seeking feedback. Presenters will provide a brief overview of their research interest, a concise description of their proposed study or research line, followed by a discussion with session participants. Participants can bring a short presentation or 1-page handouts to support their session. During the discussion, presenters can pose questions, seek advice, or discuss alternate approaches to their study design.

Job Panel – 20 minutes: This session is open only to doctoral candidates or graduates who have completed their dissertation. Presenters will have approximately 15 minutes to discuss their dissertation (theoretical framework, method, results, significance) and future research/teaching/service agenda in front of a panel of faculty members. After their presentation, they will have 5 minutes to answer questions from the audience and panel, as well as receive feedback from the panel. (Consider a fake university that they should tailor to)

3 Minute Thesis – 3 minutes: This session is open to master’s and doctoral students and provides an opportunity to propose their research. Individuals will have 3 minutes and may use 1 static PowerPoint slide and their voice (no props, no costumes) during the presentation. This session provides excellent practice for an elevator speech on their line of research.

Poster Session – 60 minutes: This session is open to master’s and doctoral students. Participants selected will display and present their posters while attendees engage with participants. Presenters should be prepared to summarize, expand on elements, and answer questions from their poster. Please consult these resources for more information on academic poster sessions. (youtube video as example)

Dissertation Funding Competition (DFC): This competition is open to doctoral candidates only. The purpose of the DFC is to support candidates’ dissertation research-related expenses. Selected candidates will present their anticipated dissertation at the “pre-data collection”  stage (i.e., not completed). Their presentation will be evaluated using a rubric that will be shared with the presenters and judges. Candidates seeking to compete in the DFC will also need to submit a letter confirming doctoral candidacy from their department/university affiliate in order to qualify.


Evaluation Criteria

All submissions will be evaluated for acceptance using the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Timely submission: Only submissions received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October  31, 2023, will be considered for acceptance.
  2. Research background/literature described clearly and concisely: Description of research is understandable by a universal  audience and free of subject specific jargon.
  3. Purpose of research and research questions: Proposal has a clear research purpose statement and research question (this will be variable for roundtable sessions)
  4. Methodology: Description of research methodology is clear and detailed so that the reviewer can understand the research process. No jargon.
  5. Goals clearly stated: Goals are clearly stated in a way that is easy to follow and provides adequate detail.
  6. Innovation of study, results and/or methodology: A brief description of the novelty or significance of the methods and/or results is provided.
  7. Spelling, grammar, punctuation: Proposal is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

All questions should be submitted to Eleanor Su-Keene, Holmes Research Coordinator, at holmesresearchcommittee@gmail.com.


Staff Contact: Weadé James

See what Holmes participants and alumni say about the program