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School recruits outstanding minority students at diversity event

The UNC School of Social Work has traditionally offered an annual Diversity Open House which has established strong linkages with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and academic programs across the state of North Carolina that promote access to higher education and diversity on college campuses.

This year, instead of the open house the School of Social Work tried something different — a two-day campus visit for top HBCU graduate school candidates. This Diversity Recruitment Event offered a more in-depth and comprehensive visit for students than an open house, and included a class visitation, GRE overview workshop, writing workshop, admissions and financial aid overview, mixer with current MSW students and one night of lodging in Chapel Hill. The event was co-sponsored by NASW-NC, the UNC Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the UNC Graduate School.

Throughout their visit, the students also met with various faculty and staff members and current students to give them a comprehensive idea of what the MSW program at UNC has to offer.

“These outstanding students made an incredible impression on our faculty, colleagues from across campus and our NASW-NC membership representative,” said Sharon Thomas, director of recruitment, admissions and financial aid. “I’ve had a number of faculty who had them in class on Monday afternoon tell me that they would have never known the students were in undergraduate programs, based on their thoughtful class contributions.”

In a survey distributed shortly after the event, the responses from the visiting students have been very positive, indicating that the event was successful in telling them more about the MSW program and preparing them to apply for admission, Thomas said. One student who attended remarked that, “The program was well-organized and everyone welcomed us with open arms. It really exceeded my expectations.”

“Hopefully this Diversity Recruitment Event will be a new tradition for the School of Social Work, and help to uphold the school’s commitment to diversity,” said Thomas.