Grants and Research


Project Early Childhood Engagement Center (ECEC) will prepare 2 cohorts of diverse teachers to work with young children birth to 8 with developmental delays and other disabilities. This project will recruit, educate, fully fund and retain special educators highly qualified to work and serve young culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with disabilities. Project ECEC will prepare and graduate two cohorts of diverse teachers (45 total) by providing a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood special education (ECSE). This degree will include a 65-credit program of study focused on recruiting individuals to become fully qualified to teach with full certification in early childhood and in special education. The first cohort began Spring 2015.

Principal Investigator:  Dr. William Drakeford, Associate Professor



The Culturally Responsive Educational Leaders in Special Education (CRELSE) project will prepare 15 leaders with a doctorate of education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership and specific emphasis in special education. Scholars will receive training in order to secure professional employment as university faculty and non-faculty positions. Employment as non-faculty member may include positions such as district-level administrator, school superintendent, and special education curriculum leader. CRELSE scholars will be prepared to respond to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in general and special education, students in all disability categories, and in racially/ethnically diverse geographic locations.

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Joy Banks, Associate Dean for Research and Development and Director of Doctoral Studies



The Akoben Academy at Bowie State University (BSU) is a private grant funded by State Farm Insurance Company and supported by BSU Office of Institutional Advancement.   The Akoben Academy at BSU is a rites of passage after-school program designed to support and promote the educational, cultural, physical, and psychosocial needs of African American male students.  Based on an African-centered philosophy, the program offers a wonderful opportunity for African American males to participate in academic tutoring, cultural-enrichment activities, manhood training, exercise/recreation, discussion groups, and more.  The program was created, in part, as a subsidiary endeavor to the existing Male Initiative Project on Bowie State University’s campus.  In 2009, the University’s President Dr. Burnim, set forth a university-wide charge (Male Initiative) for all males to take ownership, leadership, and responsibility in the community.  In response, The Akoben Academy is an attempt to “answer this call.”

Currently, the program is housed at one elementary school in Prince George’s County.  The future goal of the program is to extend these viable services to other schools and at the secondary school level.  The program aims to improve education excellence via addressing: (a) parent involvement; (b) peer, home, and school self-esteem; (c) behavior problems in school; (d) cultural identity; and (e) awareness of psychosocial issues (i.e., drugs, health, manhood, etc).  At the conclusion of the program (fiscal school year), participants will have an Initiation Ceremony to signify their successful completion of program goals and entry into “Manhood.”  The Akoben Academy at BSU was created and is facilitated by faculty in the Department of Counseling, Dr. Otis Williams, III and Dr. Jennifer West.

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Otis Williams, III, Associate Professor


The New Minority Male Health Project (NMMHP) at Bowie State University (BSU) is part of a consortium between Morehouse College, Wilberforce University, Morgan State University, and Lincoln University that delivers a comprehensive campus and community-based model program that addresses issues of health for male minorities, a population that has been distanced from health and wellness.

The New Minority Male Health Project promotes a strategy that provides education and intervention activities to the male population at Bowie State University and the community surrounding the University.

Project activities occurred in several phases. The first phase, occurred during year one, it included the 1) project start-up, 2) formation of an advisory board, 3) final establishment of key players, 4) designing and posting of a comprehensive and interactive web resource, 5) designing and implementing of a needs assessment of health concerns of BSU males, and 6) designing of the education and intervention to be implemented.

The purpose of the initial phase of the project was to alter the behavior of the minority males attending Bowie State University and to empower them to seek preventive and regular medical treatment. Concurrently, NMMHP has replicated this educational and intervention model throughout Prince George's County in Maryland.

NMMHP addresses minority male access and utilization of health services, including the examining and sharing of cutting-edge research that considers attitudes and behavior towards medical care and the strategies employed to improve access and delivery of services to minority males. NMMHP contributes its voice and research to understanding and eradicating the distancing of minority men from America's health care system.

Principal Investigator:  Dr.  Cubie Bragg, Professor