The Ohio State University-Recruiting and Retaining Students of Color

Ohio State University (OSU) has over 30 years of experience recruiting and retaining minority students within various academic departments on campus. During the fall quarter, the annual Graduate and Professional Schools Visitation Days (GPSVD) is held each first Sunday through Tuesday in November. The program takes place on the main campus in Columbus, Ohio. We invite about 40 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 20 major institutions with significant populations of students of color who have an interest in bringing from three to eight students to attend GPSVD.

The participants are senior honor students with cumulative GPAs of 3.4, slated to graduate by the end of the academic year (following the November GPSVD program). Each student selects the academic area he or she is interested in before arriving for GPSVD. One academic administrator accompanies each group of students and brings a completed application file for their students.

GPSVD serves as a direct feeder into the Graduate School Fellowship competition, which has a 15 January deadline. Many GPSVD students apply to the professional colleges of dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, and veterinary medicine. During the November 2001 GPSVD program, over 200 honor students visited the OSU campus in 40 different academic units. Some of the areas of interest for the students included microbiology, environmental science, chemistry, soil science, genetics, computer and information science, mathematics, engineering, and physics.

The GPSVD program at Ohio State has been very successful. For many years the graduation rate of minority students on fellowships was approximately 80%. And recently, Black Issues in Higher Education reported that from 1995 to 1999, Ohio State was among the top five institutions producing African-American doctoral graduates in all fields.1 In addition, OSU was among the top 20 institutions for producing American Indian and Alaskan Native Ph.D. graduates.

If you are interested in bringing senior honor students from your institution to attend the fall 2002 GPSVD program, please contact the program manager, Nikki Radcliffe, at


1. Black Issues in Higher Education 2002 (3 January), 32-33.

Biosketch: Rose Wilson-Hill is currently the Special Assistant to the Vice Provost and Director of Administrative and Special Programs at The Ohio State University within the Office of Minority Affairs. For further information, please contact

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