The Graduate School has been a national leader in recruiting a diverse student body to foster inclusive communities since the 1980s. The Graduate School’s approach to diversity and inclusion begins with the identification and recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, continues with multiple initiatives to ensure the success of students in graduate school, and comes full circle with exposing students to broad areas of employment. Below we outline the four stages of the model approach, which includes the active involvement of faculty from departments and programs, staff, and students at each stage. While we document and evaluate the progress of our model continuously, this approach is a key part of a larger institutional commitment to promoting a diverse student body.
Stage 1: Identification
Identifying new talent is essential for maintaining a robust graduate student population. Travel to academic institutions, national consortia, and conferences are key to connecting with prospective students.
Stage 2: Recruitment
Follow up from the identification of prospective graduate students involves monitoring of the application and admissions process. Connecting students with departments and programs is critical at this stage. The Graduate School is connecting with students year round, but there is a dedicated time between September and July of each year when we participate in recruitment fairs across the country, where we meet potential graduate students in person and answer any questions they might have about Duke's graduate programs.
Stage 3: Retention
Once students decide to matriculate, they must have the tools to be successful. Regular feedback from students is encouraged. Since financial aid and academic support are major factors in student achievement, The Graduate School fosters the creation of environments of support for all students so that they feel a part of the community.
Stage 4: Graduation
After students complete degree requirements, The Graduate School tracks alumni career outcomes. Professional development support is key to exposing students to various career trajectories, and we provide students with professional development opportunities starting with orientation through the completion of the degree.