University of Arkansas Uses Summer Internship Program to Recruit Black Students for Its Graduate Programs

The George Washington Carver Project at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has proven to be an effective recruiting tool in bringing African-American graduate students to campus. The six-week summer internship program for undergraduate students at black colleges and universities began in 1997. In addition to seminars and classroom instruction, students work a minimum of 20 hours conducting research with a university faculty member. All expenses are paid and students receive a stipend of $500 per week.

The program has grown from two students in 1997 to 30 this year. When the project first began, the University of Arkansas worked with only one black college to bring interns to campus. There are now 22 partner institutions.

About 40 percent of the students who participate in the summer internship program later enrolled in graduate study programs at the university. This recruiting tool has been a major reason why black graduate student enrollments have increased from 35 to 200 over the past several years.