Creating and Retaining an Inclusive Graduate Program in Kinesiology

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Ting Liu Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA

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Michelle Hamilton Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA

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YuChun Chen School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA

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Over the past decade, enrollment in the exercise science graduate program at Texas State University has shown consistent growth. However, the program’s level of diversity has been low, as indicated by the college’s equity audit report. In response to the imperative of social justice and equity in the field of kinesiology, this article presents one recruitment strategy and two retention strategies aimed at fostering inclusivity in the graduate program. The recruitment strategy describes the steps to establish a partnership with Huston-Tillotson University (a historically Black university). This partnership serves as a means to create a pathway for underrepresented students to pursue graduate studies in exercise science. The two retention strategies explain how a peer-mentoring program and alumni connect can be used to foster an inclusive experience for current students and recent graduates and to promote student success and retention. The benefits of each strategy and suggestions to implement the strategies are also described.

Hamilton https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1653-6304

Chen https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7320-1650

Liu (ting.liu@tamusa.edu) is corresponding author and is currently with the College of Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2377-5370

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