Santa Barbara offers graduate students opportunities


Florida A&M University’s College of Education welcomed faculty visitors from the University of California at Santa Barbara this week after partnering with FAMU to create the UCSB-FAMU Partnership program for graduate students.

FAMU students have the opportunity to participate in a seven-week summer program in California at UCSB where they’ll be trained, mentored and prepared for graduate level research. 

“The purpose of the program is designed to give our students a background evaluation in higher level research,” said Charles Ervin, an associate professor in the department of secondary education and chair of the UCSB-FAMU committee. “It gives the faculty an opportunity to see who the bright students are and how they can benefit from such a program.”

In an effort to recognize diversity within the institution, UCSB chose FAMU for its partnership in 2011.

This is its first partnership program with an HBCU, according to Walter L. Boggan Jr., the director of admissions and outreach for the graduate division at UCSB. Boggan said the program will be exclusive to FAMU and expressed his excitement about the universities’ collaboration.

Patricia Marin, associate director of the UC Educational Evaluation Center at UCSB, said when considering graduate school, students should be serious and do their homework.  

“Students need to see, ‘Where do I want to go? What is my long-term vision? What is my short-term vision, and what do I need to do to get there?'”  

Lois Harmon, 21, an elementary education graduate student, did her homework and made the decision to apply for the UCSB-FAMU Partnership program.  She was accepted as one of the first of four students to experience a summer at UCSB.

“I knew this program would give me the preparation I needed to apply to graduate school,” said Harmon. “The confidence of just saying that it’s not just a desire of mine to get a Ph.D., but I really can do it. It was great to have the encouragement, support and the exposure to exercise graduate resource skills.”

Harmon eventually applied to UCSB’s graduate school and was accepted into their doctoral program.

“I was able to apply for their graduate school and receive a fee waiver for my application because of my participation in the summer program,” she said.

Harmon received four years of funding after being admitted in the fall.

“A lot of doctoral programs across the country are in need of diversity,” said Boggan. “This is a great institution that prepares students for graduate studies. This is one of the top institutions that we wanted to have a partnership with.”

There will be a webinar for the program on Oct. 2 in the FAMU DRS, Building 62, room 212 at 5:30 pm. For more information about the UCSB-FAMU Partnership or the UC-HBCU Initiative, e-mail, subject line “Scholars Inquiry.”