UK - Diversity Plan 2011-2015

University of Kentucky 2011-2015 Diversity Plan

Download the PDF copy of the 2011-2015 Diversity Plan.

Enrollment Commitments and Actions

  1. Governor's Minority Student College Preparation Program

Minority College Awareness Program

The Minority College Awareness Program (MCAP) at the University of Kentucky is comprised of several early intervention program components focused on preparing African American and other underrepresented minority students for success in postsecondary education institutions. There are five program components: 1) UK Academic Year Focus on Math, 2) UK Second/Third Grade Reading Enhancement, 3) UK Summer Focus on Math, 4) YMCA Black Achievers Seventh Grade Educational Enhancement Cluster, and 5) Winburn Middle School Realizing Academic Potential (R.A.P).

  • The UK Academic Year Focus on Math component integrates mathematics with classes in science and African-American history.
  • The Second/Third Grade Reading Enhancement component focus entirely on reading and comprehension in an effort to better prepare students for success in the other disciplines.
  • The UK Summer Focus on Math component offers a concentrated mathematics curriculum incorporating math and science opportunities through the university and the local community.
  • The YMCA Black Achievers Seventh Grade Educational Enhancement Cluster emphasizes career education and relating students' academic performance to the career choices they make.
  • The R.A.P. component is designed as an incentive program to motivate all students at Winburn Middle School to earn a grade point average that will allow them to be placed on the honor roll.

A wide variety of strategies is used to identify students for participation in the various MCAP components. Referrals come from schools, churches, parents, self-referrals, and other sources. Fayette County schools are very active in supporting the MCAP program.

  1. Institutional Health Center Programs

    1. Area Health Education Center

      The Area Health Education Center Health Careers Pipeline Program (AHEC-HCPP) develops and implements activities for rural, Appalachian, and underserved urban communities through work with local schools and health care facilities. The goal of these activities is to stimulate interest and prepare disadvantaged and underrepresented students for success in pursuing health careers. This pipeline program provides coordinated, longitudinal experiences to enable students to advance throughout their academic pathway. Programming is offered to students in K-5, middle school, and high school. The focus is on Kentucky's most rural and underserved counties and urban counties with large Hispanic and African-American populations.

      The AHEC-HCPP model includes brief, targeted experiences offered in all AHEC regions, focused longitudinal programming offered in all regional AHECs, and summer camps (available on the UK campus and in some regions). The brief, targeted programming includes presentations and large group events on health career exploration and related areas while the longitudinal programming efforts involve academic enrichment and experiential opportunities for smaller groups of students who have expressed an interest in pursuing a health career. UK camps include a six-week academic enrichment camp for rising juniors and a two-week summer research academy for rising seniors. Regional camps are generally one or three-week non-residential programs with both enrichment and experiential opportunities for students.

    2. Professional Education Preparation Program

      The University of Kentucky Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP) provides support for students from underserved Kentucky counties who wish to pursue careers in medicine or dentistry. The program seeks to address the critical shortage of physicians and dentists in rural and underserved communities of Kentucky by supporting students who hope to return home or to similar geographic areas to practice medicine or dentistry. Each year PEPP administers two summer programs: UK PEPP Scholars and UK PEPP STEP II.

      UK PEPP Scholars offers a four-week residential summer experience for students who have just graduated from high school and are preparing to begin college. The program provides an introduction to careers in medicine and dentistry through academic enrichment, admissions guidance, health-related seminars and experiences, and clinical/hospital rotations at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

      UK PEPP II provides a four-week summer program for college students who are pursuing a career in medicine or dentistry. Students typically take part in UK PEPP II during the summer following their sophomore year in college. The program is designed to prepare students for the admissions process for medical school and dental school. The summer program offers admissions support, a review of organic chemistry, an introduction to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and Dental Admission Test (DAT), health-related seminars and experiences, and clinical/hospital rotations in the UK Medical Center. Year-round support is provided to PEPP II students as they negotiate the admissions process for medical school or dental school.

    3. Health Center Student Diversity and Enrichment Services

      Health Center Student Diversity and Enrichment Services works with each of the six health professions colleges (Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health) to facilitate the recruitment, retention, and professional development of underrepresented students. The office is responsible for the execution of a targeted recruitment plan to enhance the diversity of each college's applicant pool. The plan focuses on outreach to undergraduates in the UK community; current undergraduates from around the state; and students from selected metropolitan areas outside the state. Part of this office's mission is to communicate and coordinate schedules with all of the health professions colleges.

      The programs administered by Health Center Student Diversity Services include the annual Multicultural Health Careers Open House, targeted outreach recruitment, and several activities designed to offer support and professional development, including the mentoring program.

    4. Appalachian and Minority Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Majors Program

      The Appalachian and Minority Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Majors (AMSTEMM) Program is a grant-funded initiative for the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Appalachian and minority students. The AMSTEMM Program staff includes researchers, program evaluators, a consultant from the faculty, and two full-time staff members.

      The AMSTEMM Program's primary objective is to increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors enrolled at UK who are minorities or from Appalachian counties. The program provides a community environment, a network of support services, and numerous academic enhancement opportunities for undergraduates. The AMSTEMM Program has been in place since 2005 and grew out of a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

    5. Diversity Pipeline Initiative

      In January 2006 a group of admissions and student affairs officers from the University's six health professions colleges began meeting to discuss admissions procedures. The intent was to review recommendations made by The College Board to ensure compliance with current law (post 2003 University of Michigan decisions) related to minority admissions practices. The group conducted the following actions:

      • reviewed each college's mission statement to determine if enhancement of diversity was addressed as a goal;
      • developed an online diversity questionnaire, administered annually to first- and third-year medical center students, to assess student perceptions of the contribution of diversity to their educational experience;
      • worked to define "critical mass," and made scholarly presentations on the educational benefits of diversity; and
      • developed a model enhancement scholarship application form to be used across the health professions colleges.

      Following the successful implementation of these actions, the group sought to address the small numbers of minority students who made application to the health professions colleges. Since the summer of 2006, the admissions and student affairs officers have endeavored to work together to share information on recruitment activities and better coordinate their efforts.

    6. Outreach Center for Science and Health Career Opportunities

      The Outreach Center for Science and Health Career Opportunities coordinates numerous educational programs aimed at precollege and undergraduate students, stimulates interest in the sciences, and facilitates the progress of young people geared toward health careers. Several of the programs under the umbrella of the Outreach Center target minority and rural students, while other programs attempt to reach students by providing resources and workshops for teachers. The Outreach Center makes the resources of the UK Medical Center accessible by linking individuals that are "applying science" with educators and students throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Outreach Center programs are held in the center itself, in various laboratories and classrooms in the UK Medical Center, and are taken to individual schools at the request of teachers. The mobile teaching laboratory reaches students in remote and underfunded areas of the Commonwealth - serving as a way to inform high school students about science careers and as a tool for college recruitment.

    7. UK Minority Education Development for Prospective Medical Students Program

      The UK Minority Education Development (UKMED) for Prospective Medical Students Program was established in 2010 by the student subcommittee of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Diversity. It is a recruitment day that allows underrepresented minority premedical students the opportunity to visit the University of Kentucky College of Medicine each year during the month of September. The program is for junior and senior undergraduate college students.

      The four main purposes of the UKMED minority recruitment program are to implement an annual recruitment program geared directly toward prospective underrepresented minority medical students; increase all participants' awareness of the benefits of attending medical school and becoming a physician; encourage students to apply and, if accepted, matriculate to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine; and encourage those students who decide not to enroll or are not accepted to the College to continue to pursue a career in medicine, thus increasing the number of minority medical students throughout the country.

  2. Enrollment Management

    1. Recruitment

      The Recruitment staff works each year to incorporate diversity into all activities. Hobson's Connect prospective student database has been utilized in a variety of ways to reach out to high-end and diversity student populations, with the understanding that the two are by no means mutually exclusive. For starters, each month Recruitment runs a filter of prospective students and sends a personal letter highlighting various aspects of the University. Each month a newsletter called "The Scholar" is also mailed to this group of students.

    2. Veterans Resource Center

      The Veterans Resource Center conducts the following initiatives:

      Recruits military veterans to UK via several avenues

      • Advertise in military/veteran periodicals
      • Attend military career fairs
      • Attend KY National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events
      • Attend UK Preview Nights
      • Working with BCTC to bring more veterans to UK... (will be expanding this to several other community and technical colleges)


The Office of Undergraduate Admissions works with campus partners to host a variety of on and off-campus events throughout the year to facilitate the college search process for thousands of students and their families, with numerous activities targeted towards underrepresented students. As articulated in the University of Kentucky Strategic Plan, one main goal is to promote inclusive excellence across the University. Enrollment Management strives to recruit and retain a more diverse student body and help foster an inclusive campus. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is often the first opportunity for interaction between the institution and prospective students.

Undergraduate Recruitment Office

  • Admitted African American Student Receptions
  • "See YOU in Blue"
  • College Readiness Workshop, ACT Workshop
  • Preview Nights and Counselor Workshops
  • Come See For Yourself events
  • Recruitment Events: College Fairs and High School Visits
  • College Reality Store
  • Latino/Multicultural College Fair and Conference

Recruitment and Admissions for Transfer Students

Preview Days invite representatives from UK's colleges and departments to visit KCTCS campuses across the state during the fall and spring semesters. This allows students, faculty, and staff from these campuses to ask questions, get information, and apply for admission while UK staff are on campus.

Transfer Scholarships

Created three tiers of transfer scholarships with differing requirements, which added higher level awards for outstanding students.

Transfer Equivalency Process

When transfer students submit their official college transcripts to the Admission Office, the work is entered into the student information system. The Transfer Equivalency Office then begins the process of determining UK course equivalencies. Most KCTCS courses have been equated, and UK has established equivalencies for many other institutions in the state of Kentucky and beyond. If a current equivalency does not exist, the office will provide the course description to the appropriate academic department on campus for evaluation.

  • Special Group Financial Aid Information Sessions

    Each year financial aid office staff members participate in a wide variety of both on and off campus events to talk with students and parents about the financial aid process. Events include the following: Accepted Diversity Student Receptions, Adult Back to School Workshop, College of Education Future Educators Association Workshop, College Readiness Workshop, Come See For Yourself events, Cultural Diversity Festival, Engineering Recruitment Days, Freshmen Advising Conferences, Governor's Scholars and Governor's Scholars for the Arts Conference, High School Guidance Counselor Workshops sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA), Home School Students and Parents Group Workshop, Merit Weekend Information Sessions, Robinson Scholars Financial Aid Workshop, Student Support Services Workshop, Study Abroad Fair, and Transfer Days at the KCTCS Community Colleges.

    UK Office of Academic Scholarships advances the institution by continuing to improve the academic quality and diversity of the student body each year. The William C. Parker Scholarship Program (WCP) was established in 1984 with a mission to recruit and retain Kentucky resident African American students. The William C. Parker Scholarship Program later expanded to include all ethnic groups to increase overall diversity at the University of Kentucky. Additionally, the WCP funds have supported students in summer school and participation in special programs such as Education Abroad.

    Financial Ombud services:

    • Sends early alert emails to unregistered students with financial problems and works one on one with students and parents.
    • Advising conference financial presentations to UK freshmen and parents at Summer Advising Conferences and various other locations.
    • Financial advising sessions at UK 101 class sections.


Adult Student Services provides opportunities for intellectual, social, and personal growth to nontraditional and adult-age learners aspiring to pursue or presently engaged in undergraduate or graduate studies.

As the university's designated key contact for nontraditional and adult-age learners, Adult Student Services provides leadership in recruiting, retaining, and graduating nontraditional and adult-age students by offering a network of undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts. Adult Student Services conducts presentations and events on and off the campus at local businesses, organizations, academic institutions, and bi-annual Back to School Workshops on the campus. Staff support university and statewide retention efforts such as Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Adult Learning Focused Institution and Project Graduate initiatives by offering support services tailored to meet the unique needs of nontraditional and adult-age learners from admission to graduation.


The Graduate School is committed to closing the enrollment gap as it relates to underrepresented students, particularly Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino. Due to the elimination of the Associate Dean for Diversity Recruitment position, the major job duties were reassigned to the Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions and the Director of Graduate School Diversity. This strategy is being employed to develop a seamless effort in diversity recruitment.

A cursory assessment of past practices resulted in the following:

  • Stronger emphasis would be placed on recruiting current UK undergraduates.

  • Recruitment allocation dollars will be spent primarily on student travel.

  • Visitation Day would no longer be the responsibility of each college to conduct their own visits.

  • Revitalize relationships and, as appropriate, Memoranda of Understanding with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

  • Establish relationships and, as appropriate, Memoranda of Understanding with Hispanic serving institutions.

  • Reduction in the attendance at recruitment fairs without yield.

At the end of the fiscal year, these strategies and steps will be assessed for effectiveness and adjusted accordingly.

Historically, students come to the Graduate School based on the strength of the program of interest and the funding available. Many diverse students seek graduate degrees in Arts and Sciences programs where funding may not be plentiful. The Graduate School continues to employ the Lyman T. Johnson Fellowship as a means to help provide funding for this group of students. Additionally, the Graduate School continues to look for ways to employ creative funding strategies.

Additional steps taken this year included:

  • The creation of a Diversity Recruitment Advisory Board in November 2010.

To help close the enrollment gap between the state population and Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino students at the University of Kentucky, the Graduate School will employ similar strategies while targeting respective special emphasis groups as identified and needed.

  1. The first strategy employed was to identify and help remove any artificial barriers to recruitment and admissions.
    • Steps taken:
    • - Established recruitment advisory board
      - Surveyed current students
      - Met with Directors of Graduate Studies
    • Steps to be taken:
    • - Survey of non-admitted students
      - Training of college-wide recruiters
  2. The second strategy employed was to develop and increase the applicant pool.
    • Steps taken:
    • - Continue to strengthen the pipeline
      • Current undergraduates
      • At Historically Black Colleges and Universities
      • At Hispanic serving institutions
      - Continue to strengthen networks
      • Join National Name Exchange Consortium
      • Participate in targeted conferences
      - Demystify graduate school
      • Increase the number of information sessions
      • Develop status appropriate brochures
      - Continue the use of information technology
  3. The third strategy employed is development of ways to increase targeted funding.
    • Goals are established on a yearly basis. The Graduate School will evaluate and re-tool on an ongoing basis to ensure effectiveness.