Grants and Research


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.

Contact Principal Investigator for this grant:  Dr. Otis Williams, III


Verizon Thinkfinity Scholars program includes 8 student/teacher interns in at five (5) of Bowie State’s Professional Development Schools (PDS).  Thinkfinity Scholars will be incorporating Thinkfinity’s online resources into their teaching practicum.  Each teacher education candidate completes a year-long internship in one (1) of Bowie State’s PDS schools, under the supervision of a mentor teacher.  Included in this year-long internship experience, Thinkfinity Scholars  will familiarize themselves with the Thinkfinity resources and develop plans to introduce the resource within their school, specifically to students and parents.  Additionally, these teacher education students will use Thinkfinity as a resource for K-12 learning, and overall implement their Thinkfinity teaching plans into their student-teaching experience.


Ashley Baker, Marlton Elementary School Itumeleng Shadreck, Oakland Elementary School
Cheryl Braddy, Bowie High School Ashlee Thompson, Northview Elementary School
Mark Connelly, Northview Elementary School Ebony Tyson, Chapel Forge Elementary School
Tracey Cork, Bowie High School Naskisha Yates, Bowie High School

Contact the BSU Project Manager for this program:  Dr. Linda Boyd



Bowie State University is in Partnership with Central High School to address CPIP.  A grant has been awarded to Bowie to facilitate the partnership Activity.  The Purpose of the partnership is to meet statewide goals of improving access to and better preparing students for higher education, CPIP supports Maryland GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) by funding projects that provide appropriate services to GEAR UP students and their families, teachers, and schools.  Schools selected to participate in GEAR UP have a high percentage of students who are (1) eligible for the free and reduced meals program (FARM), (2) from families with limited college experience, and (3) not performing at proficient levels in mathematics. CPIP, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), is part of the federally funded Maryland GEAR UP—Focus on Math grants serving nine high schools and administered by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).  COLLEGE & FINANCIAL AND AWARENESS FOR GEAR UP FAMILIES:  Evening and weekend programs with families together to breakout groups of students and adults that address benefits of college, what to take for college preparation and admission, how to prepare for college visits and financial aid activities that may include free scholarship searches, family FAFSA preparation, financial planning, and others.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Dr. Constance E. Brooks


The University System of Maryland state funds support the implementation of the Redesign of Teacher Education grant which addresses areas involving faculty from the arts and sciences, preparing teachers to teach in diverse environments, addresses teacher shortages in content and/or geographic areas and faculty professional development with respect to K-16 goals.  To contribute to teacher preparation and teacher shortages in content areas, Bowie State University Redesign of Teacher Education will support  Bowie State University Professional Development School (PDS) Partnerships which are located within eleven public schools in three school districts (Prince George's County and Anne Arundel County) through the revitalization of the Future Educators of America Club, inquiry groups and action research projects.  More specifically, the grant will sustained internships within a professional development school that exemplifies diversity among students under the guidance of mentor classroom teachers and institutions of higher education faculty and increased emphasis on teacher renewal and in-service through professional development schools.

Contact the Co-Principle Investigators for this grant: Dr. Eva Garin, Dr. Marsha Mims-Word


The PRAXIS grant of $100,000 is a joint effort between the Tom Joyner Foundation and the National Education Association (NEA) to support non-certified teachers currently employed in urban and rural districts with a student population of extreme percentages of minority students.  It is the desire of the Foundation and NEA to make every effort to improve the learning conditions for your youth who will ultimately become students at Bowie State University.  The online application process and other guidelines are managed as a joint effort by NEA and all applicants for this program, and are submitted to Bowie State University through the agreed process.  Classes are held in PRAXIS I (mathematics, reading and writing) for four hours weekly and PRAXIS II (mathematics and social studies) for two hours weekly.  Students benefit from small group and one-on-one consistent class sessions.  Students receive instruction in a classroom environment with two specialists. A Study Skills Survey was created by the Project Investigators to drive instruction in the classes.  Student progress is tracked via pre, mid and final assessment data.  The project resumed in February 2009 with an orientation and Saturday 
Workshop provided by ETS. Classes will continue until December 2009. The funds are designated for scholarship use to public school teachers and teacher candidates for instruction, tutoring, books and state required fees for certification.  A representative from Bowie State University attended a conference in Atlanta, GA in April 2009 with representatives from other participating Historically Black Colleges to collaborate on the PRAXIS Project and set the tone for upcoming awards.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Dr. Constance Brooks 


The Principals' Institute is funded by the United States Department of Education for $192,000.  It was initiated in December 2008, for a period of 18 months.  The purpose of the grant is to increase the pool of highly qualified administrators for the Prince George's County Public Schools.  The participants engage in course work in the areas of school administration, curriculum development,supervision, school law, and the dynamics of group behavior.  A year long practicum experience in a school setting provides an opportunity for the participants to apply the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through course work and distinguished lecturer in the field of educational administration.  Dr. Barbara Talbert Jackson, chair of the department of Educational Studies and Leadership, is the Principal Investigator for The Principal's Institute grant.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:   Dr. Ann Hilliard 


This grant is specifically designed to assist 30 in-service teachers and undergraduate special education students pass Praxis I and /or Praxis II as part of their teacher licensure preparation and certification program. Praxis I training consist of pre-professional skills review and measures basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Praxis II training reviews subject (special education) and measures participants teaching skills and knowledge.

Praxis training is provided online and through small group instruction usually over a 15-week period. Peer collaboration is encouraged through study groups. Test taking and study skills strategies are taught and modeled. Materials are provided and test fees are paid for those who complete training requirements.  Instructional accommodations and study skills training have been added to this years 
training to increase the passing rate for Praxis I. The annual goal for this grant is to increase Praxis I pass rate to at least 80 percent. 

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Dr. Thelon Byrd 


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.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Dr.  Cubie Bragg 


Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an important topics in American Education.  Bowie State University is aggressively planning to develop an undergraduate certification program focusing on STEM.  The specific focus of this undergraduate degree program is in instructional technology education.  From this central focus two stands will be incorporated in the content areas of Mathematics and Sciences.  This approach will enable Bowie State University to develop an undergraduate degree program that can assist in satisfying the current shortage of teacher in Mathematics and Science, with a strong emphasis in instructional technology, math and /or science.

Teacher education candidates who graduate from this program will be very diverse in their applications as well as extremely marketable for employment considerations by counties in future employment by counties in the state of Maryland.  In addition, graduates from this program will be competent in their content specialty, grounded in knowledge-bases of their discipline and sensitive to the needs of the students they teach.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Professor Barbara Smith