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ADVANCE Scholars

The ADVANCE Scholars Program is a faculty mentoring program designed to promote and advance the success of tenure-track faculty who have been historically underrepresented at Texas A&M University and in higher education. This Program is anchored in our Aggie Core Values that continuously challenge us to embrace, value, and integrate diversity and inclusion as the roadmap to achieving academic and institutional excellence. As such, the ADVANCE Scholars Program is a key component of our efforts at Texas A&M University to support the recruitment, retention, and academic success of our faculty. Through systemic approaches to increasing their professional advancement, this Program contributes to the development of an exceptional and more diverse faculty.
Participants are afforded access to invaluable academic and professional development experiences to advance their careers as scholars. The Program focuses on cultivating opportunities for personal and professional growth by addressing issues that adversely affect satisfaction, effectiveness, and retention of historically underrepresented groups in higher education. Texas A&M University recognizes that creating a more equitable climate contributes to a positive environment for the students we serve, and the university as a whole.
The ADVANCE Scholars Program is a two-year program for early-career tenure-track faculty to develop a network that promotes work-life balance through support and guidance from peers, mentors, colleagues, and higher education leaders. Participants will benefit from dedicated mentoring, executive leadership coaching, an array of world-class research and productivity resources, and a robust network of renowned scholars from Texas A&M University and across the nation.
Scholars will have personal access to support provided by the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, a service dedicated to academics reaching their career milestones. Scholars will also be provided with one-on-one executive coaching with a focus on developing strategies for career success, leadership skills, and the exploration of individual/professional needs for growth in the academic environment. To build a professional network, ADVANCE Scholars will engage with their peers and colleagues in the (three semesters) cohort and actively participate with their mentoring team. The mentoring team for the ADVANCE Scholars Program is comprised of three members: the ADVANCE Scholar themselves, an Internal Advocate, and an External Mentor.
The role of the ADVANCE Scholar is to engage in professional networking opportunities, develop a career plan, share research with experts in their field, and heighten their professional visibility in preparation for tenure, promotion, and career advancement. Additionally, the ADVANCE Scholar will actively engage with their Internal Advocate at Texas A&M and with their External Mentor.

The ADVANCE Scholar will have access to $1500 in travel funds to meet with the External Mentor. Often, the ADVANCE Scholar will meet their External Mentor at their discipline’s professional conference.
The Internal Advocate will provide support and guidance as the ADVANCE Scholar cultivates strategies to effectively interact with their academic unit, the institution, and the community. Internal Advocate’s mentoring and advice should have a lasting impact on the retention and promotion of the ADVANCE Scholar. To facilitate this professional relationship, $250 per academic year in funds are provided to the ADVANCE Scholar (total of $500) to help defray the costs of meeting expenses (e.g., coffee, meals).
The External Mentor is from outside of Texas A&M University and is prominent in the ADVANCE Scholar’s discipline. The ADVANCE Scholar may travel for a face-to-face meeting with their External Mentor. Likewise, the External Mentor may be invited to travel to Texas A&M University. As an added benefit for the External Mentor, if they choose, during their visit to Texas A&M, the External Mentor can give a presentation on their research and/or leadership roles. In some cases, ADVANCE Scholars and their External Mentors have collaborated on projects. The External Mentor will receive travel and, if applicable, honorarium funds. Funding for participation in the Program is provided by the Office for Diversity.
ADVANCE Scholars are those who are in years 1-3 (i.e., prior to third-year review) of their tenure-track position and self-identify as first-generation college graduate, and/or early career tenure-track faculty from historically underrepresented groups in academia at Texas A&M University.
We are not accepting applications currently. The following information is provided to help people determine their interest and eligibility.  

Texas A&M University’s ADVANCE Scholars Program is administered by the Office for Diversity in partnership with ADVANCE, Dean of Faculties. The application for Texas A&M University’s ADVANCE Scholar Program requires submission of the following:
  • Cover Letter (2-3 pages): The cover letter should briefly address scholastic trajectory in higher education; awareness and/or engagement with issues of diversity, social justice, campus climate and inclusion, a description of research interests; long-term research/academic goals; and timeline for advancement to tenure. It should also detail how participation in the ADVANCE Scholars Program will benefit your career advancement.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): A current CV
  • Biography: A short biography of no more than 250 words.
  • Internal Advocate: The names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses for two potential Internal Advocates. It is recommended that applicants consult their department heads to identify potential Internal Advocates. Note: Please click here for the names of past Internal Advocates. This information may help you to identify the type of profile an Internal Advocate might have.
  • External Mentor: The names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses for two potential External Mentors. It is recommended that applicants consult their department heads and other knowledgeable colleagues in their discipline to identify potential External Mentors. Final selection of an External Mentor will be made in consultation with the applicant, the Internal Advocate, and the Office for Diversity.
  • Department Head Statement: A brief statement from your department head(s) acknowledging that they are aware of this application. Suggested language: “I am aware that [Name of applicant] is applying to the ADVANCE Scholars Program. I was consulted about identifying Internal Advocates and External Mentors.” Signed, [Department Head].
 Please email the Office for Diversity ( for any questions related to eligibility or program details.
Texas A&M University is committed to enriching the learning and working environment for all visitors, students, faculty, and staff by promoting a culture that embraces inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability. Diverse perspectives, talents, and identities are vital to accomplishing our mission and living our core values.
Texas A&M University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability employer committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment. Applications from women, minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged and will be actively sought. The University is aware that attracting and retaining exceptional faculty often depends on meeting the needs of two careers and therefore implements policies that contribute to work-life balance.