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FIU recognized for efforts to help students complete graduate degrees


FIU’s University Graduate School received the Educational Testing Service (ETS)/ Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education: From Admission through Completion. The award is the second in recent weeks that recognizes successful efforts to recruit and graduate students at FIU.

“I’m proud of the strides that FIU has made in recruitment and graduation at all levels,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “We are focused on making sure that qualified students have the tools they need to learn and join the workforce with minimal debt and delay.”

The award recognizes promising, innovative proposals to enhance student success and degree completion at the master’s or doctoral level, while promoting inclusiveness.  FIU won for its new program Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE) that helps underrepresented minority Ph.D. students with their professional development and completion of their degrees.  The award comes with a grant of $20,000 a year for two years.

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“We’re honored to receive this award that validates FIU’s efforts as a minority-serving institution to recruit and retain graduate students and help them meet their graduation and career goals,” University Graduate School Dean Lakshmi Reddi said. “We look forward to the success of AGILE and that of all the participating students.”

AGILE participant Chaundra L. Whitehead, a doctoral student in education who is currently working on her dissertation, said the program has been a great help to her.

“The benefits of this group include finding new research opportunities, enhancing professional development skills, and learning about additional resources and information that may help doctoral students persist through the rigorous programs,” Whitehead said.

Recently, FIU was also recognized for its Graduation Success Initiative (GSI) by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) with the MVP award (Most Visible Progress) for improving its graduation rate of undergraduates.  The Graduation Success Initiative (GSI) helps students find the right major early on, make steady progress toward their academic goal and finish on time, which can mean anywhere between four and six years, depending on the student’s ability to enroll full-time.

FIU has the largest percentage of minority students in the U.S. with 61 percent Hispanics and 13 percent African-Americans. FIU also produces more Hispanic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates than any other institution in the nation.

Click here for more information on the award from ETS/CGS.