AuthorEvans, Linda Meerdink.
Committee ChairRhoades, Gary
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGraduate student recruitment has received relatively little attention in the literature. Most of the research has been quantitative and narrowly focused on factors related to student choice. While graduate student enrollment has remained essentially stable for over ten years, demographic shifts and anticipated needs for doctoral prepared faculty and scientists give cause for concern. The goals of this research were to understand how four departments at a large research university approach graduate student recruitment and what influences how departments recruit students. In addition, the study sought to understand how students experience the recruitment process and how that experience may differ by ethnic group, by gender, and by department. One hundred faculty, administrators, and graduate students were interviewed and a wide variety of documents were analyzed. Findings indicate graduate recruitment has been left to the departments, in contrast to undergraduate recruitment where coercive mechanisms have been applied centrally, through access and equal opportunity initiatives. Departmental goals related to recruitment focus primarily on getting the best students, while central administration goals are centered on increasing diversity among students and enhancing the quality of research. The numbers and characteristics of the customers, suppliers, and competitors have a significant impact on departmental recruitment. Experiences of students differed widely by department and by level of study. Generally students did not feel recruited. Masters students had different experiences than did doctoral students, and women had different experiences than male graduate students. The practical implications are: (1) Because graduate student recruitment is a student-initiated process, communication about graduate school must improve; (2) Departments must take better care of students, both undergraduate and graduate, so that students will want to continue their education at the graduate level; (3) Faculty involvement in recruitment is important; (4) Recruitment can be enhanced by strengthening connections among units on campus; (5) Departments lack expertise in recruitment; (6) Departmental efforts to increase ethnic minority enrollment need to be improved; (7) External sources of potential graduate students need to be explored; (8) Ways to decrease the financial obstacles must be developed and maintained; and (9) Consideration should be given to increasing graduate student enrollment in particular disciplines.
Degree ProgramHigher Education Administration