Graduate Research Seminars

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The pleasure of becoming an educated person is the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought— that is to be educated. —Edith Hamilton

Graduate Research Seminars

David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar

Brief History of the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar

The David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar emerged from the 2-3 day regional series of graduate student seminars held by UCEA since 1966. At first held in member institutions, UCEA announced that it would support two graduate student seminars beginning in 1979. UCEA demonstrated its support by providing a grant to the host institution to cover some of the expenses of the students sent to the seminar, by publicizing the seminar in its news releases and newsletter, the UCEA Review, and by providing a forum of the proceedings in the UCEA Review. By 1984, the seminar had adopted a new title: National Graduate Students Research Seminar in Educational Administration and had begun to hold the seminar prior to the American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting. At this time, the event was co-sponsored by AERA and the National Institute of Education (NIE). The seminar changed again as NIE folded. UCEA stepped in and provided financial support beginning in 1986. By 1987, UCEA and AERA were joined by the US Department of Education Office of Research in their sponsorship of the seminar. Another change occurred in 1998 when UCEA, AERA Divisions A and L, and Corwin Press joined together to sponsor the graduate student seminar. In 1999, the graduate student seminar adopted its current title: David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration & Policy in honor of David L. Clark who had passed away in 1988.

Nomination Process

Each year, students are chosen to participate in the seminar through a rigorous selection process: first, they are nominated as candidates by their department chair or dean; second, they develop a detailed research proposal which outlines salient features of their study; finally, the proposals are blind reviewed by members of the planning committee, which selects the forty highest-ranking nominees.


Nominees should be outstanding doctoral students in educational leadership, administration, and/or policy, seeking careers in research. Nominees must have substantially completed their courses and must have formulated a dissertation proposal. Nominations of students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged. Invitations will be issued to 40 doctoral students, with competition based on the judged quality of the student’s research and capacity to gain from and contribute to the seminar.

Nomination Form and Abstract of Student Research From and Other Information Relating to the David L. Clark Seminar (available online from the University Council for Educational Administration)

Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Program (UCEA)

UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network

In November 2003, members of the UCEA Plenum voted to create the UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network. Through this effort, UCEA will create a network of graduate students of color who are studying in UCEA members’ educational leadership doctoral programs and who are planning to enter the professoriate.

The Purposes of This Network are to

  1. Provide a system of support for students of color across UCEA member institutions that will continue as they enter the professorial role and begin to mentor others into the profession.
  2. Ensure the presence of minority faculty in educational leadership programs in numbers sufficient to assure that UCEA programs will reflect the diversity of our society and schools.
  3. Support the K-12 environment’s need for a larger pool of administrators from minority groups, through enhanced abilities to recruit them into university programs
  4. Demonstrate UCEA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice.


Each UCEA Institution is encouraged to identify a minimum of one and preferably more graduate students who will be named a UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholar.
Once identified, the UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars will receive formal recognition at their institutions and within the UCEA consortium.
The UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars will become part of a UCEA network, with a space on the website, and based on the ability of UCEA to acquire external funding, will engage in a graduate student seminar held annually during the UCEA Convention, participating in listservs and other forms of communication,
UCEA will develop a mentoring program for Jackson Scholars, through which scholars will receive mentoring in publishing, teaching and navigating higher education.
Each UCEA Institution is expected to make a financial commitment to sending the UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars to the UCEA convention where they will have opportunities to connect and work with one another and to provide the scholar with research and teaching opportunities within their home institution.
UCEA will seek funds to support this network.
UCEA headquarters will assure that this information on this effort is disseminated widely to garner support and broaden job opportunities for the students.


Although the US, UK , and Canada are becoming increasingly diverse, the teaching and leadership corps of these countries, and higher education leadership faculty, continue to be predominantly white. Data from 1999-2000 % indicate that only 14.8% of school administrators in the US are people of color. In colleges of education, where most of these school and school system leaders are being educated, the percent of faculty members of color is 15.5 %. Without some proactive intervention, it does not appear that these figures will change very greatly in the next decade.

In his book Building Bridges delineating the history of UCEA, Jack Culbertson notes that UCEA was influenced at its beginnings by the fundamental belief that schools and universities must work together to improve educational leadership preparation and that “leadership was a prerequisite for human progress,” (p. 24) In recent years, both its membership criteria and its strategic plan, UCEA has taken a public stand to foster “human progress” through its support of equity and social justice in our institutions, our organization, and our work We pride ourselves on having a membership that is considered among the best doctoral granting educational leadership programs in the world. In order to maintain that status, it is imperative that we model what we believe by having a diverse faculty.

Establishing a support network for students of color planning on entering educational leadership programs in higher education will help in recruiting students from minority groups into our programs and thus into K-12 and higher education positions; will expand our capacity to place and retain minorities in positions in UCEA institutions, and will lessen the isolation often felt by minorities as they matriculate in their studies and work in our institutions, Taking this action will also assist in assuring that our institutional cultures are more welcoming and comfortable for students of color, enhance our capacity to more fully understand students from differing backgrounds, broaden the research perspectives in our field, and enhance our credibility in higher education and in K-12 schooling. Finally, this action continues the legacy upon which our organization was built.

Nomination Form (available online from the University Council for Educational Administration)

ASHE Public Policy Seminar for Advanced Graduate Students

The Association for the Study of Higher Education is headquartered at Michigan State University

The Annual Graduate Student Seminar on Higher Education Policy is held prior to the ASHE Annual Meeting in November. The Policy Seminar provides graduate students with opportunities to meet and interact with researchers and other individuals who are knowledgeable about critical policy issue in higher education, policy formation and formulation, as well as state politics. This seminar also offers students a splendid opportunity to interact with other graduate students with similar interests from universities across the country.

Nomination Form (available online at the Association for the Study of Higher Education website)

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