Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) is making great strides in its efforts to amplify its graduate programs.
With a desire to put a more strategic focus on FAMU’s master’s and doctoral degree production, in 2015, President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., and Provost Marcella David tapped award-winning professor and alumnus David H. Jackson, Ph.D., to lead its graduate college and serve as associate provost for graduate education.
The reenergized efforts have resulted in a 26 percent increase in graduate applications for fall 2016 over last year’s 709 applicants. As a result, the University is expecting an increase in master’s and doctoral research student enrollment this fall.
In addition to experiencing a significant increase in graduate applications, the University also experienced gains in graduate degrees awarded in the Board of Governors’ Areas of Strategic Emphasis (ASE), such as health, education, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The number of degrees awarded in ASE increased from 43 to 51 percent.
According to President Mangum, these advancements can be attributed to a robust mix of new technology, new outreach efforts, and the age-old factors of passion and commitment.
“The University has seen great results from its implementation of behavior-based online marketing for its graduate programs and new internal software for our academic programs,” Mangum said. “Dr. Jackson, his staff, and the deans of our colleges and schools have been hard at work in their recruiting efforts and pulling their resources together.”
Provost Marcella David applauded the growth of the program, a key part of her vision to enhance FAMU’s academic offerings. She noted that the new University work plan includes a goal to continuously increase graduate student enrollment.
“Last year, when Dr. Jackson took the job of dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, he began to re-engineer our approaches for recruiting and attracting graduate students to Florida A&M University,” David said, noting that Jackson’s recruitment model built upon efforts to enhance graduate student support put in place by the previous interim dean, Verian Thomas, Ph.D. “He has helped to develop strategic approaches, which include external and internal recruitment efforts, and made sure that our application process flowed smoothly.”
According to Jackson, his goal is to ensure that students get to experience the graduate education that FAMU provided him as a student while pursuing a master’s degree in public administration, which he says set the course for a successful career.
“As a graduate student here at FAMU, I worked with remarkable professors, advisors, and staff who helped me to excel in my studies,” Jackson said. “ Today, I am proud to say that once again I have the privilege of working with dedicated staff, deans, department chairs, and graduate program coordinators, to ensure that all graduate applicants are handled with great care and that they will have an exceptional experience at FAMU.”
Founded in 1887, FAMU is the only public, land-grant HBCU in the State University System of Florida. ESSENCE and MONEY magazines rank FAMU No. 5 among all national universities and colleges on the 2016“50 Best Colleges for African-Americans” list. Additionally, the list identifies FAMU as the No.1 historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the nation.
The National Science Foundation lists FAMU as the No.1 HBCU in the nation for research and development expenditures. U.S. News & World Report names FAMU among the best national universities, and Forbes magazine lists the University as one of 2016’s “America’s Top Colleges,” and as one of its “Best in the South,” “Best Public Colleges,” and “Best Research Universities.” The Princeton Review named FAMU among its “2016 Best Colleges: Region-by-Region” list, ranking FAMU as one of the “Best Southeastern” colleges and universities in the nation.