Black men earned only 2.1 percent of doctoral degrees awarded at American universities in 2008. In response, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education has made a serious commitment to preparing promising Black male scholars for admission to and success in Ph.D. programs in education.
We are seeking to identify talented Black male undergraduates who are entering their junior year for participation in our Black Male Grad Prep Academy, a program that includes a four-day visit to the University of Pennsylvania in November 2009. We will select 10 Black male juniors and cover all their travel expenses, lodging and meals.
During their visit to our campus, the selected scholars will learn more about applying to and succeeding in graduate school, hear about the excellent research of our faculty, interact with our Black male graduate students and alumni and tour Philadelphia. Next spring, we will pay for academy participants to take a three-month Kaplan course valued at $1,200 to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam. The GRE is required for admission to most education doctoral programs.
Additionally, each academy participant will be paired with a current Black male Ph.D. student in education at Penn GSE or elsewhere who will offer mentoring throughout the graduate school application process, feedback on essays and other application materials, and advice on where else to apply besides Penn GSE. Lastly, academy scholars who apply for fall 2011 admission to one of our Ph.D. programs at Penn GSE will receive an application fee waiver; that deadline is Dec. 1, 2010.
Because a master’s degree is not required for admission to Ph.D. programs at Penn GSE, our goal is to enroll as many of the academy participants as possible in our doctoral programs in Fall 2011, the semester after completion of their undergraduate degrees. Each of our Ph.D. students is fully funded for four years and supported by paid research assistantships with faculty.
Academy participation in no way guarantees eventual admission to the University of Pennsylvania. If not at Penn GSE, our larger aim is for all 10 scholars to enroll in highly selective graduate programs in education at top research universities in Fall 2011.
THIS PROGRAM IS FOR BLACK MALE JUNIORS ONLY – those who are starting their junior year of college in fall 2009 and anticipate earning bachelor’s degrees at the end of Spring 2011. Applications are invited from students across all majors, not just education. However, only those who have intellectual interests that are somehow related to education (the study of teaching and learning, human development, educational psychology and counseling, history of education, K-12 or higher education leadership, sociology or philosophy of education, language and literacy, educational disparities that disadvantage certain populations, education finance, research methodologies applied to education, student affairs and college student development, or K-12 or higher education policy) should apply.
All application materials must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Aug. 21, 2009. The application form is posted at http://www.gse.upenn.edu/grad_prep. Each applicant will receive a decision within four weeks.