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Neag School Selected to Join National Holmes Scholars Program

This article originally appeared in UCONN Today and is reprinted with permission.

This fall, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) selected UConn’s Neag School of Education to join its Holmes Scholars Program, a nationwide network of higher education institutions seeking to support students from historically underrepresented communities enrolled in graduate programs across the field of education.

For current and prospective Neag School doctoral students, the Holmes Scholars Program will offer an array of benefits — including numerous opportunities for mentorship, peer support, networking, and professional development. In addition, the Neag School has pledged to cover the costs of sending each of its Holmes Scholars to the AACTE’s annual conference, as well as the two-day preconference exclusive to Holmes Scholars, for a minimum of three years.

Benefits to Holmes Scholars

  • Collaborate and connect with a national network of peers and faculty at AACTE member institutions through online social networks and other events
  • Seek guidance from a Holmes Scholar alumni mentor who is currently in academia
  • Engage in opportunities to attend dedicated sessions at AACTE’s Annual Meeting, present your research, and take part in a dedicated job fair for Holmes Scholars
  • Participate in AACTE’s annual Washington Week and the AACTE Day on the Hill, which includes networking events with AACTE state chapter leaders as well as meeting with members of Congress

‘The Opportunity Was Invaluable’

Diandra J. Prescod, Neag School associate professor of counselor education, will oversee the Holmes Scholars Program at the Neag School — not only as program coordinator, but also as one of more than 700 Holmes Scholars alumni. It was during her three years as a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida that Prescod attended her first AACTE conference and participated in two days of Holmes sessions.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to be affiliated with such a prestigious program — one with a phenomenal track record.”

—Jason Irizarry, Neag School associate dean for academic affairs

“Being in a room full of other individuals from underrepresented groups empowered me and allowed me to receive support and mentorship from individuals with similar lived experiences as myself,” she says. “The opportunity was invaluable, and I look forward to supporting our scholars here at UConn.”

The Neag School, as one of more than 50 institutions across the country currently sponsoring the Holmes Scholars Program, joins in this effort as part of its Schoolwide focus on supporting the recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented students pursuing careers in education. As a sponsor, the Neag School will at the same time be actively working to help address the nation’s shortage of faculty and education leaders from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Today, less than 10% of all faculty at higher education institutions today identify as African American, Latinx, and/or Native American/Alaskan Native, per the AACTE.