The Graduate Feeder Scholars Program and the HBCU Clearinghouse EXCELLENCE EVERYDAY

The Graduate Feeder Scholars Program and the HBCU Clearinghouse.

While progress has been made over the past decade regarding Black student enrollment in college, there remains a need to continually strive for educational access and equality for students. Historically Black Colleges and Universities prepare thousands of students for post-baccalaureate success each year, but, in terms of obtaining graduate degrees, there are limitations. Many HBCU undergraduates are desirous of diversified experiences to prepare them as professionals. At the same time, graduate program opportunities are limited at many HBCUs. So there is a need to connect top tier institutions with competitive applicants who are eager to conduct research and add to the body of knowledge in their chosen fields of study. The paramount issue for many qualified HBCU students is funding for attending graduate school, which includes securing resources for tuition and living expenses.

Purdue University Campus Visit March 2017

Graduate degrees are critical to competitiveness in the ever-evolving global job market. Many HBCU’s are not equipped with degree programs and facilities that enable the attainment of the various master’s and doctoral degrees desired by their students. Additionally, socioeconomic status becomes a factor for many HBCU student’s as they struggle to obtain funding for graduate school.

Organizations such as the American Talent Initiative, College Advising Corps and College Point have built mechanisms for advisement of students interested in higher education and collaboration with premier institutions, but none of these groups offer an approach specifically targeted at promising HBCU students and the attainment of funding packages to pursue masters and doctoral degrees.

The establishment of a scholars program and a national HBCU clearinghouse operation that identifies and recruits prospective graduate students is needed. A student pipeline operation has been formed, piloted and successfully implemented over a 30 -year period to the benefit of hundreds of students at one HBCU in particular. Replication of the best practices of a student pipeline is in the best interest of all students with potential and promises to produce extraordinary results.

Partners from Oregon State, Florida State, Purdue and Tennessee - Graduate Feeder Conference, September 2016

The impact of such an operation are far reaching, it is estimated that, in the short term this activity could lead to the successful attainment of graduate school funding for 200 to 500 students annually.

The Feeder HBCU National Clearinghouse will:

- Arm students with information on graduate programs through professional development, graduate school consulting and communication,

- Establish partnerships with institutions committed to funding the graduate education of HBCU students

- Connect students with institutions, and advocate for application fee waivers,

- Secure summer research and study abroad experiences for HBCU undergraduates,

- Secure funding packages for qualified HBCU students,

- Track progress of Clearinghouse Fellows for three to five years after graduation.

To discuss the Graduate Feeder Scholars Program and the HBCU Clearinghouse contact:

Terrance McNeil at Florida A&M University via email at terrance.mcneil@famu.edu or by phone: 850.294.0071

Credits:

Photos; Bryan Anderson, Terrance McNeil and Florida A&M University

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