Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: The Role of Graduate School Preparation Programs

Sosanya M. Jones


This study examined the contributions of graduate school preparation programs to the greater campus communities in which they are members by investigating the effects of three National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate programs.  Using a snowball sample and semi-structured interview protocol, 20 directors and their staff were interviewed. Participants included the graduate program leader, their supervisors, and their staff, as well as faculty mentors who work with the programs. In-depth case study analyses facilitated through the use of Dedoose software. The findings provide evidence that contradicts arguments that graduate school preparation programs serve only a small number of students and are too costly to run. Instead, the findings highlight the value of these programs to non-program participants, students, staff, and faculty, and the ways in which the programs serve and contribute to their institutions’ academic and diversity goals.

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