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Welcome to the Graduate School Diversity Recruitment Toolkit.
Recruiting students can be a complicated, time consuming, and even overwhelming process that takes a great amount of attention, organization, and preparation.
Anytime is a great time to start laying the foundation needed to began identifying students for your academic program. Our hope is this toolkit will provide you with invaluable information related to identifying, recruiting and ultimately enrolling underrepresented students.

Recruitment Phases

Recruitment happens in several phases, from potential students to prospective students to applicants. Once the student decides to apply, continued recruitment is needed once the student is admitted and considering whether or not to accept our offer. Afterwards, recruitment strategies turn into retention strategies what wil ensure our students achieve their intended degrees. Below you will find a brief explanation of each phase and their recruitment needs.

Potential Students – all undergraduate students, and bachelor’s or master’s degree holders are potential MU graduate students. Faculty and staff should always be prepared to talk with them about what is graduate education, reasons for pursuing an advanced degree, and an overview of the application process. Potential students can be found in discipline specific conferences, student professional development events, at faculty invited lectures or visits to other campuses, etc.

Prospective Students – undergraduate students, and bachelor’s or master’s degree holders who actively inquired or contacted MU graduate programs or staff are prospective students. Faculty and staff should be prepared to provide them with more specific information about program details and fit, how to apply to the graduate program, how funding works for graduate school, application fee waivers, and some data about career outcomes. As the relationship is cultivated, other information may be pertinent, for example, data on faculty and campus diversity, about life in Columbia, and other resources MU has that distinguishes us from other institutions. Prospective students should also be encouraged or connected to MU graduate students who can provide peer-to-peer information about being a graduate student at Mizzou.

Applicant – prospective students who initiated or will soon initiate an application to an MU graduate program. Faculty and staff should be prepared to provide assistance on the bureaucracy of applying, refer applicants to resources on campus that can help them (such as the Center for Inclusive Excellence at the Graduate School, or admissions staff), and provide more detailed relevant information that can help them decide on Mizzou, such as, housing, life in Columbia, opportunities for family members, childcare, among others.

Admitted students – applicants who received an offer from an MU graduate program. Faculty who would be mentoring the students should be proactive in reaching out to welcome the student and inquiring about additional information they can provide  admitted students; MU graduate students can also reach out to them to provide their point of view on next steps and their personal experience on deciding on the program. Additional information about resources on campus and around the community tailored to admitted students would enhance the engagement.

Enrolled students – applicants who accepted an offer and enrolled for classes. Faculty, staff, and/or graduate students should continue to answer questions and facilitate the transition to Columbia, MO and the graduate program. Information about housing, community resources, moving tips will help the student feel a sense of belonging.

Recruitment Opportunities

When recruiting a diverse student body, there are some conferences that bring together potential students. Faculty presence at those, either presenting, attending, or in a booth, can help expand the reach of the program.

Other opportunities for recruitment can be found visiting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) – either in their Career Fairs or guest lectures/collaborations with faculty at those institutions. We compiled a list of Institutions in and around Missouri to help you identify potential recruitment opportunities. The List contains 18 institutions from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Directors of Graduate School can visit Canvas for more resources on recruitment. Not enrolled? Learn How.
Visit Canvas For More Information