The Graduate School recently received the 2010-2011 Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Admissions from the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service. The award acknowledges outstanding practices in graduate admissions.
“We are honored to be recognized by these organizations for our innovative efforts,” said Maureen Grasso, dean of the Graduate School. “This award reflects our commitment to provide an excellent experience for prospective and current students and promote diversity at the University of Georgia.”
The Graduate School received the award for its data-based Recruitment through Graduation initiative. This initiative grew out of practices developed during the Ph.D. Completion Project, a research project funded by the Council of Graduate Schools.
“The expanded use of these practices dramatically improved the acceptance and graduation rates of underrepresented graduate students,” said Grasso.
Since 2004, enrollment of African-American and Hispanic graduate students in UGA graduate programs has increased by 31 percent and 75 percent, respectively. In the same time period, degree completion rates for African-American and Hispanic graduate students improved by more than 20 percent.
As part of the Recruitment through Graduation initiative, the Graduate School conducted quantitative and qualitative research to understand why graduate students drop out of programs before completion. The results allowed Graduate School officials to develop programs to assist graduate students from initial contact with UGA through completion of their degree.
“The Recruitment through Graduation initiative has enhanced our understanding of how to recruit top graduate students and provide them with sufficient resources throughout their education at UGA,” said Grasso.
The Graduate School has implemented innovative recruitment efforts to contact and stay in touch with graduate students. It uses a variety of technologies to connect students, departments and the Graduate School, including Connect, a Web-based database, and Facebook. The Graduate School also provides funding, professional development opportunities, social networks, and academic and personal advising to help students navigate through graduate education.
As the recipient of the award, the Graduate School will receive $2,500 to fund additional innovative practices for graduate student recruitment, admissions programs or retention efforts.
The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools helps its member universities increase enrollment, retention and graduation of African-American students in graduate programs. Educational Testing Service develops and administers the GRE and TOEFL tests and conducts research to improve education practices and assessments.