In addition to tailored workshops throughout the year, the Graduate School’s Invest in Your Success Symposium engaged students and postdocs in a series of workshops featuring sessions on setting semester goals, honing visual designs, virtual networking and presentations, and more.
Orientations & Resource Fairs
The necessity to shift to online orientations enabled us to connect with more incoming graduate students than we ever had with an in-person event, and perhaps as importantly, to connect before they arrived on campus. We created three parallel orientations for doctoral, master’s, and fully-online master’s programs and hosted them on the campus’ Open Learning platform.
- Over 1,200 grad students completed the online orientation
- 93% agreed or strongly agreed it was helpful to them
- 86% said they would return and view orientation resources throughout their first semester
The Graduate School and International Student and Scholar Services partnered to host over 150 international students in two online, synchronous resource fairs to introduce campus partners and give them the opportunity to ask questions.
Student & Program Outreach
To better connect with students, we launched three editions of a new bi-weekly newsletter that presents the five pathways and opportunities to take steps forward on each of them. All enrolled graduate students are automatically subscribed, and we are proud to have averaged a 50% read rate (compared to an industry standard of 23%).
In previous years, we emailed program directors and coordinators a monthly “operations update” email, which was cumbersome to compile, delayed important communication, and had a read rate of only 13%. This year, we transitioned to topical and more timely emails and achieved an average read rate of 70%.
We have also grown our social media presence in promoting events, new jobs, academic opportunities, and student features. If you haven't already, please join us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Promoting Mental Health
Recognizing the critical importance of mental health and wellness on student retention and success, the Graduate School created a new Graduate Academic Counselor position to provide resources, training, community gatherings, and confidential consultations and referrals. A critical goal is ensuring that students, faculty, and staff know that support is available from the Graduate School.
- Consultations with 28 students experiencing mental health crises
- Outreach to 92 students taking a leave of absence
- Custom workshops and orientation presentations for graduate programs
- Over 700 registrations for Graduate Student Circle Sessions
- Consultations with 10 concerned faculty or program staff
We encourage all faculty and graduate program staff to have a red folder handy and to email email@example.com to request a consultation or a custom presentation.
The Graduate School Writing Center
The GSWC offers support for graduate students at every stage of their development as academic and professional communicators. With the assistance of distinguished Graduate Writing and Oral Communication Fellows, we foster communication and community while advancing the skills that empower students to share their research, creativity, and skills with the world.
Career Development & Professional Outcomes for Doctoral Students
The economic impact of the pandemic on higher education underscored the critical importance of preparing graduate students to be competitive for the full range of professional opportunities. Indeed, data from our partnership with Academic Analytics shows that over half of doctoral students who graduated in the past twenty years went on to pursue careers in industry, government, and the not-for-profit sectors. You can view the data broken down by graduate program here and we encourage students and alumni to connect with each other in the worldwide networks on LinkedIn and TerrapinsConnect.
In partnership with the University Career Center, the Graduate School offered a cohesive suite of programming, resources, and services to engage students, postdocs, and doctoral alumni in purposeful professional development and career planning at every stage. Despite the pivot to virtual and the inevitable fatigue with Zoom, we saw remarkable growth in campus engagement.
- 3,500 total participations from doctoral students and alumni (up 79%)
- 2,240 attendees (up 90%) in 89 sessions including foundational workshops, multipart career exploration and job search cohorts, the Rita B. Leahy Career Series with alumni panels, the Annual Doctoral Career Pathways Conference, and other outreach sessions to student groups
- 338 enrollees in the updated, online PhD Career Navigator Canvas site (up 141%), which contains 13 modules of vital career development information specifically for doctoral students and postdocs
- Launched the Doctoral Career Advisory Board and engaged 88 alumni in career panels
- Introduced Aurora, an online career planning and job search tool for exploring and pursuing careers in and beyond the academy.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs hosted online orientations and workshops for new and prospective postdocs, with over 325 participants. We also welcomed six new Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows, who each bring to their research and teaching the critical perspective that comes from their educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education.