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UGA in top 20 for doctoral degrees conferred upon African Americans

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University of Georgia News Service

In its July edition, Diverse Issues in Higher Education has ranked the University 18th in the nation for doctoral degrees conferred upon African Americans, up from 21st in last year’s rankings.

The latest ranking reflects efforts by the Graduate School not only to recruit students, but also to retain and graduate them. Since 1999, when the Graduate School began formalized inclusiveness programming, enrollment among African-American graduate students has consistently grown, increasing three percent in 2007 over 2006 alone and representing roughly 10 percent of the total enrollment of graduate students.

Opportunities offered year-round by the Graduate School are designed to raise awareness among undergraduate students, particularly those from diverse populations, of the expectations of graduate scholarship.

One such opportunity that administrators believe helps reduce attrition among graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds is the Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

The program recently wrapped up its ninth annual, eight-week research experience open to undergraduates from around the country. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, 41 students, the majority of whom were African American and from the state of Georgia, came to the UGA campus to work in labs and other settings in a variety of disciplines to conduct research on a graduate level. Admission to the program depends on several criteria, with an emphasis on academic accomplishment.

“For the first time in the history of SURP, we raised the bar on GPA requirements,” said Jessica Anderson, director of Graduate School Outreach and Diversity. “With an average GPA of 3.65, our students are not only academically prepared, but also very focused and professional.”

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Written by Symphony

August 2, 2008 at 6:59 am

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