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Everything You Wanted to Know About Graduate Education …

Everything You Wanted to Know About Graduate Education …

A few editions ago, you had the opportunity to review the colleges and universities that confer the most baccalaureate degrees on students of color. In this last installment of the Top 100 degree producers for the year, we bring you the edition that highlights the institutions that confer the most master’s, doctoral and first professional degrees on African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian students.

I’ll let Dr. Victor Borden, who conducts our annual analyses, seriously break down the numbers for you in his “Interpreting the Data,” but I can, however, share some highlights. African Americans were awarded 7.7 percent of all master’s degrees, 5.1 percent of all doctoral degrees and 6.8 percent of all first professional degrees in 2001-2002. And although African Americans are well-represented in the professional fields of law and medicine, they, along with Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians are not very well-represented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines when it comes to graduate degrees. As a result, faculty of color are underrepresented in the STEM disciplines as well.
In “Is There a Crisis in Graduate Education?” Kendra Hamilton sorts through the myths and realities of graduate education, such as the belief that the United States is overproducing Ph.D.s. You’ll have to read the article to find out if this is indeed true, but as one education official says, “We’re certainly not overproducing faculty of color.” If you’re currently researching a Ph.D. program or contemplating
doing so sometime in the future, you don’t want to miss the “must do” and “must ask” checklist that Kendra has compiled. Lastly, Kendra, who is knee-deep into the Ph.D. process herself, briefly and humorously chronicles her experience in a Ph.D. program in the accompanying piece “When Interests, Expectations Collide.”
And if you’re considering graduate school because you can’t find a job, you’re not alone, particularly in this economy. Typically graduate school enrollment increases as employment opportunities diminish, writes Page Melton in her article, “What Does it Take to Get There?” And this year is no different. Many schools are trying to secure more classroom space for their growing enrollments, and students are competing for limited funding and financial aid. However, students are willing to fork over the cash for graduate school to gain that competitive edge that comes with having a graduate degree.
Looking for your first academic job? If you’ve completed graduate school and you’re one of the 40,000 doctorates produced every year, Dr. Keonya Booker, a recent Ph.D. herself, shares her experiences and advice about finding that first academic job that is right for you in “On the Job Market.”
Lastly, Pearl Stewart profiles Dr. Melvin T. Stith, dean of the College of Business at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Stith, one of a handful of Black business school deans at predominantly White universities, has gained the respect of colleagues not just by increasing the school’s endowment seven-fold or by having high-tech classrooms, but also by positioning Florida State as a leader in producing minority business doctorates and by recruiting and making a great effort to retain young, first-rate faculty.  

Hilary Hurd Anyaso

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