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Minorities constitute 26 percent of the U.S. population, but only 12 percent of higher education's full-time instructional faculty. Adequate representation of minority faculty in higher education is crucial, as they serve as mentors, communicate the possibility of success for minority students, and help develop a knowledge base on minority issues. From 1982 to 1992, the percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to minority individuals increased less than one percent. A large number of current faculty are predicted to retire in the years following 1995, providing an opportunity to achieve better minority representation in faculty ranks, but a pool of qualified minority candidates must be prepared. Toward this end, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education formed the Compact for Faculty Diversity, which aims to support at least 200 minority doctoral students per year through financial and academic support programs. The Compact's strategies include: (1) motivate states and universities to address the problem by increasing the base of financial support for minority doctoral study, (2) offer promising minority graduate students a support package of fellowships and research and teaching assistantships, (3) introduce incentives for academic departments to create supportive environments, (4) sponsor an annual institute, and (5) develop a collaborative approach to student recruitment. (Contains 12 references.) (JDD)

Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Faculty, Cultural Pluralism, Doctoral Degrees, Educational Opportunities, Educational Policy, Financial Support, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Incidence, Minority Group Teachers, Minority Groups, Student Financial Aid

Autor: New England Board of Higher Education, Boston, MA.; Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Boulder, CO.; Southern Reg


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