Athens, Ga. – In its July issue, Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranked the University of Georgia 17th in the nation for doctoral degrees conferred upon African Americans, up from 18th in last year’s rankings.
The latest ranking from Diverse Issues reflects efforts by the UGA Graduate School to recruit underrepresented students, retain and graduate them. Since 1999, when the Graduate School began formal inclusiveness programs, enrollment of African-American graduate students has consistently grown, increasing six percent in 2008 over 2007 alone. African Americans represent 10 percent of the total enrollment of UGA graduate students.
“I am extremely proud of these doctoral students, who have achieved their personal goals while contributing to the UGA community,” said Maureen Grasso, dean of the UGA Graduate School. “I believe that diversity within the graduate student body is vital for expanding the university’s research agenda and increasing the global competitiveness of our graduates.”
The Graduate School Outreach and Diversity Office provides a mentoring program to assist first-year graduate students and help set their expectations for graduate study. The ODO’s mentoring program contributes to student retention from recruitment to graduation, particularly with underrepresented groups in the graduate population.
“The mentoring program matches first-year students with seasoned student volunteers already well-versed in the graduate lifestyle,” said Angela Jewell, program coordinator of the Graduate School ODO. “The student partnership gives first-year students an opportunity to seek advice and find guidance, aiding them in moving through their program.”
“Our notable doctoral completion rates are due in part to a collaborative effort between the Graduate School, each academic unit and the student mentors who support each other throughout their matriculation,” said Jessica Anderson Farquhar, director of the Graduate School ODO. “At the same time, we always strive to improve our services and increase the opportunities available to underrepresented groups.”
In addition, the ODO hosts networking activities to provide conversational settings for graduate students, workshops for academic success, and brown bag lunches to discuss topics related to developments in higher education.
For more information on outreach and diversity programs at the UGA Graduate School, see www.grad.uga.edu or contact the Graduate School Outreach and Diversity Office at 706/425-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.