The Shannon Point Marine Center of Western Washington University is a resident center for the study of marine sciences. Students reside at the center for five and a half months while they are preparing for graduate studies in oceanography. The Center's approach to minority student development is comprehensive, and includes intensive mentoring, simultaneous coursework integrated with research, interactive student relationships, and immediate access to research facilities and senior faculty. The extensive laboratory resources are enhanced by the surrounding context of diverse field environments on site or within the immediate vicinity.
The Center has accomplished an exemplary record of minority student recruitment, retention and degree completion. The intensity and positive value of mentoring and the nature of its impact on minority student persistence and achievement is reflected in the letters from participants regarding this program and by the impressive number of minority students actually entering graduate school.