Recruitment & Communicating with Prospects

Best practices, legal considerations, and support resources to assist faculty’s interactions with prospective applicants and participation in the Diversity in Psychology Program (DPP) and other diversity recruitment initiatives.

Please contact the DGS and ADGS with questions and for additional guidance.

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Recommendations and Best Practices

Consider how statements about “fit” may create pressure to conform, or discourage diverse applicants when the focus is on “culture fit.” Help applicants understand what “research fit” means, and how differences in theoretical perspectives and training goals are valued and engaged within your advising practices. 

Help applicants understand that there are different pathways to a strong application and leverage the flexibility within holistic application review:

  • What alternatives to “traditional” research experiences could applicants consider when describing their preparation?
  • What strategies might an applicant consider for identifying strong recommendation writers if “traditional” faculty recommenders are not available (i.e. student has been out of school for several years)?
  • How could applicants emphasize their unique strengths and demonstrate that they can thrive when they have appropriate support and resources? 
  • In what situations might an extenuating circumstances statement be appropriate?

Legal Considerations

In the context of admissions, verbal and written statements are considered legally binding. Therefore, it is important to keep all discussions hypothetical. For instance:

Recommended Avoid
“...we consider applicants’ alignment with potential advisors and their research.” “...we will pair you with an advisor.”
“Admitted students receive…” “You will receive…”
“As a prospective student, I recommend you…” “As a student, I recommend you…”

Use qualifying language when offering advice: “you may find it helpful…” or “...may strengthen your application.” This can prevent suggestions from being misconstrued as a promise that by following the advice, an offer of admission will follow. 

Diversity Recruitment Resources for Faculty

Prospect Inquiry Routing

  • General inquiries for information on how to apply can be referred to
  • Applicants interested in working with specific faculty are advised to reach out directly with questions about faculty members’ research, advising approaches, and similar questions. 
Pat Frazier
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
N571 EltH - 625-6863
Laura Luepke
Associate Director of Graduate Studies (ADGS)
S243 EltH - 626-3483
Heidi Wolff
Curriculum and Graduate Services Specialist
S258 EltH | 624-5002
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