Jose Prado, Susan Nakaoka and Janice Filer all have something in common, and it’s not that they all work on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Prado, Nakaoka and Filer are just a few of the educators at CSU Dominguez Hills who have taken advantage of the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CSU CDIP), which encourages university lecturers and graduate students to pursue their doctorate degrees in order to better teach a diverse student population.
CSU Dominguez Hills is currently accepting applications to the CSU CDIP for the 2012-2013 academic year. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15.
Established in 1987, the CSU CDIP is the largest program of its kind in the United States. As of June 2011, the program has loaned $40 million to 1,872 doctoral students enrolled in universities throughout the nation, and 1,054 of these participants have successfully earned doctoral degrees. Among these, 57 percent are employed in faculty positions throughout the CSU. Along with generous financial assistance, the CSU CDIP provides doctoral students with professional development and mentorship from senior faculty.
Prado, assistant professor of sociology, says that the CSU CDIP was instrumental in not only funding his graduate degree, but also in providing the opportunity to network with seasoned faculty and mentors.
“It factored in my capacity to connect with scholars who played an important role in my development as a scholar,” he says. “I connected with individuals trained directly in the social sciences who helped me to avert costly academic mistakes.”
CSU CDIP loans of up to $30,000 a year are repayable over a 15-year period commencing a year after completion of or withdrawal from full-time doctoral study. If a participant is hired into a CSU faculty position after completion of their degree, 20 percent of the total loan will be forgiven for each year of full-time teaching employment.
Sheela Pawar, acting assistant vice president of Academic Programs and campus CSU CDIP coordinator, encourages her colleagues – and their students – to participate in this program in order to help build a CSU faculty that is prepared to teach a diverse student population.
“Applicants in all fields are eligible for admission, but CSU CDIP gives primary consideration to candidates in fields where campuses anticipate the greatest difficulty in filling potential future instructional faculty positions,” says Pawar.
As a single mother, Nakaoka found the CSU CDIP to be helpful not only in terms of ensuring her career success, but also the academic success of her son, a junior in high school.
“Without the CSU CDIP program, I would not have been able to enter a doctoral program until after my son finished college,” says Nakaoka, who is the director of fieldwork and admissions in the Master of Social Work program. “Now I will be able to complete my degree in time so that I can be employed in a position that will help me to support my son when he enters college.”
As a CSU CDIP scholar, Janice Filer had the opportunity to teach college courses along with her duties as principal of the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) which is located on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus. She says that the experience has also empowered her to skillfully mentor CAMS faculty members as they pursue advanced degrees.
“The CSU CDIP made it possible for me to teach college courses and gain a wealth of knowledge in current educational issues and trends,” Filer says. “It is rare that school administrators have the ability to participate in the educational development of their own staff members. The CSU CDIP was truly a blessing to me as teacher, school administrator, and college instructor. [It] has made a difference in the lives of a diverse student population and has provided opportunities for diversity in post-secondary faculty.”
Nakaoka, who also serves as coordinator of the Asian Pacific Studies program, says that the CSU CDIP ensures that the CSU’s commitment to diversity extends to the development of its faculty.
“I attended many Ph.D. program information sessions and they all stressed that they wanted a diverse student body,” she says. “However, some of these same programs did not allow students to work outside of their course of study. Thus, many of the potential students – including myself – were excluded because they could not afford to be in school full-time without outside work or assistance. Often, these are students of color who have additional familial responsibilities or have less financial support from relatives or immediate family.”
Prado says that the opportunity to teach the CSU’s diverse student population was his incentive for pursuing his teaching career in the system. He says that the CSU CDIP helps future faculty become role models for first-generation students of color.
“I identified intimately with the system, its students, faculty, and its chartered mission to provide accessible public higher education to the people of the state of California,” says Prado. “The CSU CDIP continues to meet this goal through my colleagues and me.”
For information on CSU CDIP or to apply, visit the Website at www.calstate.edu/HR/CDIP or contact Pawar at (310) 243-3308.