16th Annual Northern California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education at Sacramento State

Contact: Kip Polakoff, 562-951-4774, kpolakoff@calstate.edu

(October 27, 2005)— In an effort to strengthen diversity among graduate students, California State University, Sacramento will host the 16th annual California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the University Student Union Ballroom.

This noon-to-3 p.m. event is designed to acquaint students from under-represented groups with career opportunities and academic challenges associated with advanced study in a wide variety of disciplines. Open to second semester sophomores, juniors, seniors and master’s candidates, the forum will include a keynote speaker, workshops, graduate recruitment fair and networking opportunities.

“The CSU is encouraging undergraduate African American and Latino students to go on to study at the doctoral level,” said CSU’s Director for the California Pre-Doc Program Kip Polakoff. “If we are successful, we believe these students will go on to rewarding careers.”

The forum is a joint partnership of CSU, UC and the independent universities in California to help under-represented students be more informed about and prepared for graduate schools. The meeting will also bring together more than 1,000 prospective graduate students, the great majority of whom are members of groups traditionally underserved in American graduate education. Students in attendance have been carefully selected by their home institutions on the basis of their strong academic records and expressed interest in learning more about post-baccalaureate degree programs and the careers to which they can lead.

The focus of the meeting will be to enhance the recruitment of minority students into doctoral programs. The UC representatives want to attract more African American and Latino students into their Ph.D. programs. The CSU wants to assist in creating a broader pool of new Ph.D. recipients that would enable the CSU campuses to recruit future faculty as diverse as the student populations they already serve. The California State University system is the country’s largest and most diverse four-year university system, with minority enrollment at more than 53 percent.

“What we are trying to achieve is to have the CSU faculty look a little more like the students in the classrooms who are very diverse,” said Polakoff.

There are two major components to the forum. The first are workshops carefully designed to provide students with the information they need to make informed choices about graduate school. These workshops will help students explore graduate opportunities and resources.

The Forum will feature the formational workshops:

  • How to finance your graduate education
  • How to prepare for the GRE
  • How to write a winning statement purpose
  • The relation of the master’s degree to the Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Student Panel: Keys to success and survival in graduate school

The Forum will also feature disciplinary workshops:

    Engineering and Computer Science
  • Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • Life Sciences
  • Business Management
  • Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Fine and Performing Arts

Faculties from the host institutions are included in many of the workshop panels.

The second major component of the forum is a graduate school recruiting fair. Representatives from many leading U.S. graduate schools will set up tables where they can talk to individual students about the programs their campuses offer, financial aid information, and admission requirements and procedures.

Funding for the forum is provided by CSU Alliance for Minority Participation, the National Science Foundation, the CSU Pre-Doctoral Program and the University of California.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: Oct. 27, 2005

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