A Symposium Model for Doctoral Students of Color Seeking Faculty Positions in Higher Education

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The purpose of this article is to share a model for motivating and mentoring students of color who are finding it difficult to complete their doctorate degree because of personal, social, and institutional challenges. Students do not pay a fee to participate in the symposium. They are motivated among other things to build relationships, and establish contacts and networks with a cohort of scholars interested in helping them complete their studies. In addition, the program prepares these students to apply for faculty positions at this university in the mid-west and other institutions of higher education when they graduate. Student populations in colleges and universities in the United States are becoming more and more diverse. These institutions are doing a good job with structural diversity – increasing the number of women and ethnic and racial minority students. However, there is a paucity of numbers at the faculty level. Institutions of higher education must diversify their faculty in the light of U.S Supreme Court rulings in the University of Michigan’s cases Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) and Grutter v. Gratz (2003). Research on increasing the number of minority faculty in college and university campuses is growing. Williamson (1994) suggested ways to foster minority doctoral success with Mexican American and Native American students in doctoral programs. Green (2008) addressed the role of chief diversity officers to reach that goal. The 2005 Minorities in Higher Education Annual Status Report of the American Council on Education indicated that people of color hold only 14% of all faculty positions at postsecondary institutions in the United States.

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