Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Public Policy


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

G. David Gearhart

Second Committee Member

Barbara Loftin

Third Committee Member

Brinck Kerr


College Admissions, Diversity, Graduate, HBCU, Intervention, Recruitment, Strategies, Student Success


Graduate student recruitment is one of the most important factors in growing university enrollment. Unlike undergraduate recruitment, graduate recruitment is a coordinated effort facilitated between graduate faculty and program coordinators and graduate recruiters who often work outside of the department. An essential element in graduate recruitment is the effectiveness with which underrepresented minorities are identified and recruited. Graduate schools are commonly using initiatives known as intervention strategies to help enhance their traditional recruitment strategies and campus visitation programs have become a popular recruitment tool within those strategies.

Since the 1990’s, the University of Arkansas (UA) has employed various intervention strategies utilizing the campus visitation approach to attract minority graduate students. A frequently used program is the Attracting Intelligent Minds (AIM) Conference. This study assesses the AIM conference, using Program Evaluation Theory, to determine how impactful it has been as a recruitment vehicle.

The Program Theory Evaluation (PTE) framework was used to examine the conference activities, recruitment strategies, involvement with graduate faculty and administrators, and the roles that UA and Minority Serving Institutes (MSI), particularly Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) play in the success of the conference.

Broadly, the study determined that AIM has been moderately effective for recruiting underrepresented minorities, primarily from HBCUs, to various graduate programs at UA, and strengthening the cultural capital among existing graduate students. But its continued success and growth will be largely dependent on collaboration between all stakeholders and the priority that is placed upon minority graduate recruitment.