Scholar: Samuel Sedillos
Major: Social Work
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mary Hylton
Research Topic: Equal Opportunity or Secret Society: Perspectives of Undergraduate Social Work Students Regarding Graduate School
Abstract: In recent years, there have undoubtedly been improvements regarding entrance into graduate school and the number of masters and doctorate degrees obtained by historically underrepresented graduate students. However, enrollment rates and advanced degrees conferred to this population continue to lag in comparison to majority student populations. This holds true for the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Using data obtained from the University of Nevada Institutional Analysis Fall 2010 census, historically underrepresented groups (excluding Asians) accounted for 21.1% of the total UNR undergraduate student population. Conversely, this population accounted for 12.9% of the total postbaccalaureate student population. When examining the same population for the UNR School of Social Work, there is a 28.3% undergraduate representation rate and a 12.2% postbaccalaureate representation rate. Factors contributing to this issue may range from actual barriers to perceptual inhibitors. Actual barriers can include financial considerations, family obligations, or lack of knowledge regarding the graduate school process. Perceptual inhibitors can range from lowered expectations, to the existing lack of diversity in higher education, to the lack of access to "privileged" or "secret" information. To date, there has been limited research involving the attitudes and opinions of both majority and minority student populations regarding entrance to graduate school and the obtention of an advanced degree. This study will examine the perspectives of current social work students enrolled in the University of Nevada Social Work Program concerning actual and perceptual barriers and/or inhibitors regarding entrance to graduate school and potential obstacles in obtaining an advanced degree. Recommendation for assessment will be discussed.
New Scholar: 2013 cohort
Graduating with a Baccalaureate Degree: Spring 2014