Benefits of Hosting a Forum

There are a number of benefits that accrue as a direct result of serving as the host campus for one of the two annual California Forums for Diversity in Graduate Education.

The most important is the fact that the Forum brings together 1000 to 1250 prospective graduate students, the great majority of whom are members of groups traditionally underserved in American graduate education. These students 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. Most of these students would never have the opportunity to visit the host institution if it were not for the Forum, which pays for the cost of the studentsí bus transportation and lunch.

The host institution has an opportunity to highlight its values, accomplishments, and facilities. The Forum features a plenary session and day-long program of workshops. The president or chancellor of the host institution is always invited to deliver a welcoming statement at the plenary session. Faculty from the host institution are included in many of the workshop panels, which cover a wide range of topics, including how to prepare for and apply to graduate school, financial aid opportunities, undergraduate research programs, and six to eight sessions on specific groups of academic disciplines. Some host institutions also organize visits to specific research facilities on campus, although this is not required.

Students from the host institution who attend the Forum have an opportunity to meet with representatives of most of the nation's leading graduate universities. At the two Forums held during the 2007-2008 academic year (UC Davis and UC Irvine), 151 different institutions were represented in the recruiter fair at least once, including all 10 campuses of the University of California, 6 of the 8 Ivy League universities, 9 of 11 Big Ten members, and all 10 Pacific Ten members. No other graduate school fair features so broad a cross-section of the best American graduate schools.

Hosting the Forum also underscores an institution's own commitment to solving the long-standing problem of unequal access to the benefits of higher education.

The cost of the benefits noted above is, all things considered, modest. The host institution is responsible for providing the facilities needed for the Forum and for organizing the logistics (with advice and assistance from the Forum staff). The host campus also agrees to cover a specified amount of the Forumís day-of-event costs. All other expenses are paid, and all other preparations are managed, by the Forum staff.

 

Last Updated: January 6, 2009