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 will engage in a 2-year research and residency program, 2018-2020.

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. Nearly 40 institutions currently participate in the Holmes Program.

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.

Staff Contact: Weadé James


2022 AACTE Holmes Pre-Conference

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2022 AACTE Holmes Pre-Conference slated to occur on March 3 during the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on March 4 – 6. 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: Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic. Holmes Program participants may submit more than one proposal.

Please review the session descriptions below and submit your proposal before the submission deadline, Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Session Descriptions:

Roundtable – 30 minutes: This is a relaxed session format for master’s and doctoral students who have a start for their research but still have questions. Presenters will provide a brief overview of their research interest area, a concise description of their proposed study or research line, followed by a discussion with session participants. 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) 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.

3 Minute Thesis – 3 minutes: This session is open to master’s and doctoral students and provide and opportunity to propose their research or present a pilot study. Presenters will have 3 minutes and may use 1 PowerPoint slide (no animation, no audio), and only their voice (no props, no costumes). This session provides excellent practice for an elevator speech on their line of research.

Poster Session – 60 minutes: This session is also open to master’s and doctoral students. Presenters will create a poster to display during the session and attendees will walk around the session viewing  posters. Presenters should be prepared to summarize their poster, expand on elements of the poster, and answer questions. It is suggested to bring business cards or a handout for those attendees interested in more information.

Dissertation Funding Competition (DFC): This competition is open to doctoral candidates only. The purpose of the DFC is to support the 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. EDT on Sunday, October  31, 2021, will be considered for acceptance.
  2. Research described clearly: Description of research is understandable by a universal  audience and free of subject specific jargon.
  3. Research described concisely: A brief yet informative description of the research that  provides the reader with the necessary information.
  4. Methodology: Description of research methodology is clear and detailed enough that the reviewer can understand what the applicant did. 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 results and/or methodology: A brief, but strong description of the novelty or newness 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 Lea Herbert, Holmes Research coordinator, at holmesresearchcommittee@gmail.com.

See what Holmes participants and alumni say about the program

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