For the third time, West Virginia University is offering a colloquium for aspiring minority doctoral students to promote graduate education at the University to prospective and current minority graduate students.

The colloquium is an opportunity for us to familiarize prospective students with academic programs, admission standards and ways of funding graduate education at WVU as well as an opportunity to encourage potential graduate students to consider the various academic program possibilities,said Jennifer McIntosh, WVU executive officer for Social Justice.

Participants are typically high-achieving minority students who usually have masters degrees and who want to eventually become professors, although high-achieving undergraduates student applications are also considered.

The event also provides information about living in Morgantown since students who enroll at WVU will also be living in the area,McIntosh said.

While the colloquium serves as an awareness program for prospective students, it also works to increase the pool of candidates participating in the WVU Academic Partnership Program.

The WVU Academic Partnership was established in Sept. 2001 by the WVU Presidents Office for Social Justice to provide semester-long teaching appointments for WVU minority doctoral students. The teaching fellows serve as visiting faculty at one of the participating colleges: Fairmont State College, Glenville State College, Potomac State College, WVU -Parkersburg and West Liberty State Collegewith plans to expand statewide.

Minority teaching fellows serve as visiting faculty for at least one semester on a state college campus,McIntosh said.The program affords fellows the opportunity to gain important college-level teaching experience and it brings greater diversity to West Virginias state colleges.

This years colloquium will take place on the WVU campus in Morgantown Sept. 26-27 and is sponsored by the Chancellors Office of the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), West Virginia Universitys Presidents Office for Social Justice and the WVU Office of the Provost.

Over 50 prospective students have registered for this years event, making it the largest colloquium for aspiring minority doctoral candidates so far. The last two colloquiums brought approximately 75 participants to campus. Twenty percent of previous participants have subsequently enrolled at WVU .

Many students attending the colloquium are planning ahead,McIntosh said.They are preparing for their futures and considering options, so we dont expect them to enroll immediately but rather in the coming years.There is no registration fee; lodging and meals are also provided.

Presenters include HEPC Chancellor J. Michael Mullen, Provost Gerald Lang, various WVU administrators and faculty and minority doctoral students.

For more information on either the colloquium or the academic partnership program, call the WVU Presidents Office for Social Justice, 304-293-5496.