In January 2008 the Graduate School held a series of invitational information sessions for department heads and graduate coordinators. The purpose was to launch the Initiative for Optimal Doctoral Completion.
Fostering Social Support among Doctoral Students
Completing a doctoral degree is a daunting undertaking and one in which students’ support for each other can mean the difference between graduating or not. Social support among students not only helps them to survive in difficult times, but also helps to fully integrate students into the program and the profession. Social support can be especially important for programs that wish to increase gender and ethnic diversity. Our faculty panelists will describe ways in which faculty can play a vital role in building a community of scholars in their doctoral programs.
Building Strong Mentoring Relationships in Doctoral Education
In February 2009, the Graduate School held the third of four best practices seminars. Having students and faculty form productive working relationships that are mutually respectful and task oriented is one of the four conditions necessary for optimal doctoral completion. Dr. Jason Cantarella, Dr. James Nagel, and Dr. Thomas Reeves discussed proven individual and departmental strategies for mentoring doctoral students to maximize both learning and doctoral research.
Beyond GRE’s: Innovative Ways to Improve the Doctoral Admissions Process
In October 2008, the Graduate School held the second of four best practices seminars that are part of the Graduate School’s Initiative to Optimize Doctoral Completion. Four faculty members shared ideas about strategies and criteria that they have used in their admissions process to increase the likelihood that the students who are admitted will successfully complete their degrees.
Designing Program Websites to Attract the Best Doctoral Students
In September 2008, the Graduate School held the first of four best practices seminars that are part of the Graduate School’s Initiative to Optimize Doctoral Completion. Four faculty members shared ideas about the information that they have included on their Websites to help prospective doctoral students make good decisions about applying to their programs and the reasons they thought this information was important for recruiting the best students.