AIHEC STEM Initiatives
National Science Foundation
The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) has been funded (NSF award 1655185) to review and document the current state of CI-readiness at the nation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). The study, which to date has included site visits to 34 of the 35 accredited TCUs, has generated several findings. A significant number of TCUs IT departments are challenged by limited human and financial resources to effectively operate and maintain their campus technology systems while providing support to their respective user communities. The TCUs differ widely with respect to the size and quality of their STEM research and education programs and their readiness to take advantage of access to the national Cyberinfrastructure resources generally available to faculty and students at higher education institutions. There is a clear need for continued coordination and engagement to provide additional support resources necessary to move the TCU campus’ IT infrastructure to the level necessary for achieving their institutional goals, most important of which involves meeting the needs of their faculty, staff, and students.
Cyberinfrastructure Research Alignment
AIHEC advances the STEM and education programs at the nation’s 37 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) by implementing a comprehensive CI capacity-building strategy that focuses both on the colleges’ STEM faculty and CI support staff. With support from external partners and regional institutions, this comprehensive CI strategy focuses on CI training, planning and community-building involving both STEM faculty and TCU IT organizations, providing the resources, technical assistance and national network to advance participating TCUs toward CI-readiness and CI-enabled STEM research and education programs. A sustained TCU community of CI practice facilitates collaborations among STEM faculty and IT department personnel at the TCUs and with national CI partners, broadening dissemination of research computing best practices and shared technical knowledge and skills.