On Wednesday February 8th, 2012, a few students from the School of Public Health attended a Townhall on Minority Student Admission and Retention at the University of Michigan. The event was hosted by Minority Affairs Commission of Michigan Central Student Government and aimed at bringing students, faculty, and administrators together to exchange information and discuss issues surrounding the needs and efforts surrounding minority student admission and retention. Administrators on the panel included John Matlock of Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), Dwight Fontenot from Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), Erica Williams from Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA), Rochelle Woods of (OAMI), Assistant Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Esrold Nurse, Academic Standards Advisor Jeffery Harrold.
Administrators shared information about their efforts to increase minority student admissions by breaking down the various efforts behind outreach, need-based financial aid, scholarships, and special programs despite the setback resulting from Proposition 2 . Partnerships and collaboration was a common theme throughout the discussion. Many departments focus on targeting partner schools, inside and outside the state of Michigan, to increase outreach and recruitment strategies. Partner schools are identified based on geographic and demographic characteristics. There is an additional emphasis on the recruitment of students that are first-generation high school graduates and low income minority students.
During the Question and Answer portion of the meeting, students engaged the panelists in discussions about familial language barriers, undocumented immigrant students and the policies that affect them, the decline of specific minority student groups, campus climate, and much more.
While these events are centered around discussing the issues of undergraduate admissions and retention, there was large graduate student presence at the townhall. As a graduate student, I realize that the overall campus climate can affect admission at all levels. These efforts and policies can have direct implications on the applicant pool for all graduate programs.
The second part of this meeting will take place at the Rackham Amphitheatre at 6:00-7:30 pm on Friday, February 10th
The panelists include:
Dwight Fontenot (CSP)
Erica Williams (MESA)
Rochelle Woods (OAMI)
Esrold Nurse (Assistant Dean for Undergrad Education)
John Matlock (Associate Vice Provost)