By Monica Reum, IRT Recruitment and Admission Programs Specialist
This year, we focused on transparency when explaining the IRT application components to prospective students. Knowing that some applicants were unclear and sometimes even overwhelmed by the application process, I hosted monthly webinars to serve as a support to prospective students. Research shows that often, first-generation college students tend not to reach out for help; therefore, my strategy was to provide an alternative avenue to answer student questions if they were hesitant to call or email directly. The webinar series covers application topics such as how to secure recommendations or how to have a successful interview. The sessions have helped to demystify the intricacies of the application process, expose students to some best practices and give them an inside look at the IRT application process.
This year, the IRT committed itself to serve more students and just admitted our biggest class! We will assist 121 students through the Ph.D. process, and 45 students through the master’s degree process. In sum, we will support 166 students. Nearly half of our class identifies as Black or African American, 37% identify as Latinx, 18% identify as Asian, and 1% of our cohort identify as Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
Within the past year, our number of institutions increased from 85 to 100! This increase to 100 institutions would not have been possible without our alumni, who hosted information sessions on their campuses — THANK YOU! Over the past three years, we also doubled the number of HBCU institutions. We hope to build this trend and aim to increase it in three years. If you attended an HBCU, or are currently working at an HBCU as a faculty member or administrator, I encourage you to reach out to me regarding ways we can collaborate to ensure we can identify and recruit additional students at HBCU’s.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT education programs specialist, traveled to Brown University to conduct an IRT informational session for prospective students.
Later that evening, Leislie and Asabe Poloma, assistant dean for international students and associate director, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Office of the Dean of the College, organized a dinner for IRT alumni near Brown’s campus.
This past October, IRT alumni welcomed about 20 prospective applicants during an information session at the University of Michigan. IRT alumni shared their perspectives and insight into the program.
The IRT panel included the following:
Aesha Mustafa, IRT ’16—Aesha is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Higher Education at Michigan State University. Her research interests explore higher education’s role in promoting students to develop a propensity toward civic engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Aesha hopes that higher education institutions can impart all students, regardless of academic discipline, with the tools to respectively and critically engage in an increasingly multicultural world.
Denise Galarza Sepúlveda, IRT ’91—Denise is the Director of the University’s office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL) where she works with faculty to create transformative learning opportunities for undergrads and trains future faculty in community-based learning. Prior, she was a professor of Latin American Literature for over 10 years at Lafayette College in PA. She has received national and university awards for her research, her teaching and her mentorship of underrepresented students. She also volunteers every Saturday, teaching Latino children in the ENL literacy program.
The IRT visited 32 institutions this past fall and will be visiting another seven in the spring in an effort to continue to recruit outstanding students of color looking to become educators. Within just a month of the application opening on November 15, we topped 150 applications.
To date, the top five institutions (listed below) with the most prospective students are minority serving and historically black colleges and universities.
Brooklyn College, NY
City College, NY
Langston University, OK
Spelman College, GA
University of California, Los Angeles
Did you refer a student to the IRT?
Alumni word of mouth is our biggest source for referrals. Please let your students know about the IRT! The application is live, and we are accepting completed applications through March 1.
If you have a student referral, please email Admissions and Recruitment Program Specialist Monica Reum.
Changes to the application
Application is now due March 1!
Unofficial transcripts can be submitted with your IRT application. Official transcripts are required upon matriculation to the program.
Recommenders will be asked to submit a form instead of writing a letter on behalf of the applicant.