Advocacy Day is an opportunity for graduate deans and students to meet with federal agency officials, Members of Congress, and the national media to discuss issues impacting U.S. graduate education.

2023 CGS Advocacy Day

On April 26-27, 2023, CGS graduate deans and students from across the country participated in Advocacy Day. On the first day, CGS President Suzanne T. Ortega and the CGS Government Relations and Public Policy Department led a Pre-Advocacy Day Workshop in which graduate deans and students learned how to be an effective and impactful advocate for graduate education.

After the Pre-Advocacy Day Workshop, Scott Jaschik, the editor of Inside Higher Education, was the guest speaker at the evening reception. Jaschik shared his insights on the challenges and opportunities facing graduate education. He gave the graduate deans a “behind the scenes look” at the inner working of Capitol Hill and the views some policymakers have about higher education.

On the second day, CGS graduate deans had their first meeting at the U.S. Department of Education. CGS President Ortega and the graduate deans met with Dr. Nasser Paydar, Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education. Later in the day, the graduate deans and students met with House and Senate congressional staff to discuss topics including:

  • fiscal year 2024 appropriations for graduate education and research programs
  • the use of Pell Grant funds for graduate studies
  • graduate student mental health and mentorship
  • broadening participation and access to graduate education for underrepresented groups
  • the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act

The Basics of Advocacy

  • What Is Your Goal? How to determine advocacy goals for meetings with policymakers and staff.
  • What Facts Can You Present? Determine the facts and information to present to policymakers that help to make the case for graduate education.
  • What Is The “Ask”? Make sure you know what you want to accomplish during your meeting with policymakers and staff and develop an “ask” that aligns with your goals for the meeting.
  • How to Cultivate a Congressional Champion? Meetings with policymakers and staff provide an opportunity to establish a working relationship with them. Offer to be a source of information about graduate education for the policymaker and staff.

Interested in getting involved with CGS’ advocacy efforts? Email Amy Scott.