Changes Made as a Result of gradSERU

  • “We have expanded our annual professionalization workshop series to include more offerings and focus on non-academic careers.”
  • “Several years ago, [our program] was rated poorly on advising. So, among other things, we instituted a mandatory annual orientation for advisors of any incoming student–even advisors who are not new to advising are required to participate if they have a student in that fall's incoming cohort.”
  • “We learned that students want more professional development support and were not aware of many of the resources available to them. We developed a resources hub tailored to professional students and integrated it into their online courses.
  • "To facilitate communication and relationship building between advisors & advisees, we now require all new students starting the program to develop a statement of communication needs and preferences to discuss with their advisor during the first semester and to update it as needed."

  • "In response to the 2019 gradSERU survey results, the department has increased student representation on departmental committees and our student organization has been meeting at least monthly with the DGS and GPC to discuss student concerns."

  • "To reduce students’ anxiety about stress and uncertainty of what is expected of them and timely progression in the program, we instituted a Program Planning Toolkit that enables students to plan, monitor and discuss when they will achieve the milestones of our program with their advisor on a regular basis."

  • "In response to the COVID-19 survey results, the department established an emergency fund for students in need, provided expanded funding to our current graduate students, and created a new research fellowship specifically for students whose research was delayed or canceled by the pandemic."

  • “The gradSERU helped us better quantify the amount of extra stress that COVID-19 put on grad students in the spring semester. As a result, we have organized a program-wide mental health seminar to help students identify coping mechanisms.”

  • "Data from the 2020 Covid SERU was helpful in identifying mental health concerns during the pandemic, leading to additional community building, discussion groups around mental health, and mental health workshops led by professionals.