Synopses of Winning Proposals
    Synopses of Winning Proposals

    2017: University of Washington

    U501: Extend the Reach

     The Graduate School at the University of Washington will expand its University 501 (U501) online orientation modules and reach more students, staff and faculty at our own university, as well as at other universities.  U501 “flips” orientation so all incoming graduate and professional students can view online modules containing text and videos with students, faculty and staff introducing key information before they arrive on campus.


    Students may access these at any time - day or night, in any country, at their own pace. It introduces the nuts and bolts of graduate school, gives an overview of the graduate student experience and details resources and support systems.


    • Internal to the UW, usage rates and user feedback from the 2017 pilot will be used to refine existing and add new content to further prepare students to transition to the UW. We will also identify individual UW graduate programs interested in tailoring this information to their own orientations, and we will work directly with these programs to pilot their specific versions.
    • Externally, we will develop instructional modules to guide other universities -- research and non-research, master’s granting, public and private -- in building their own online orientations. Comprehensive modules will ensure greater reach and effectiveness in delivery of their own orientations by taking users through a step-by-step process delivered in a format similar to U501 itself.


    2014: Duke University

    Duke OPTIONS: Online Professional Development Tool for Individual OpportuNitieS

    Duke Options is an online professional development planning tool that helps doctoral students identify career opportunities and target their professional development activities to reach their career goals.The tool identifies six core competencies doctoral students should development: teaching and mentoring communication skills, professional adaptability, self-awareness, leadership, and professionalism and scholarly integrity. The tool provides suggestions, resources and steps based on the four broad disciplinary areas at Duke: social sciences, humanities, basic medical sciences and natural sciences and engineering.


    Users then can set deadlines for themselves to achieve their goals on a 5-year planning calendar, with suggestions embedded by the tool for appropriate timeframes. Additionally, the tool includes ways students can consult with their advisors to help achieve their goals.


    Development of the tool involves cross-campus collaborations, including the Career Center and Office of Postdoctoral Services, Directors of Graduate Studies, key faculty members, and student groups. Lunches with targeted student groups would roll-out the tool to students.


    2013: Florida International University

    Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE): A Synergistic Community of Doctoral Scholars


    AGILE is designed to meet the need for a learning community of doctoral URM students where interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are integrated with scholarly and research pursuits. The program promotes peer mentoring and coordinated professional development modules. Community meetings will enable socialization and open communication links. The first cohort will include 15 students selected from Hispanic and African American groups and will participate for two years. Participants will prepare and maintain a portfolio and academic diary of their participation in AGILE.


    The professional development modules will bring together a variety of campus offices ranging from writing, wellness, research integrity, community engagement, leadership and service, career center and academic planning and accountability. AGILE will facilitate a one-semester long leadership track of events to explore, develop and apply leadership skills. Students will undertake community service/engagement in areas of interest and expertise. The community meetings will provide an opportunity for practicing communication skills.


    The collective performance of the cohort will be assessed against the general graduate population using surveys. Conclusions on the effectiveness of the program in improving retention rates, time to degree and student success will be based on the overall performance assessment.


    2012: University of Illinois at Chicago

    Promoting Success in STEM Graduate Education Scholars Program (PaSSaGE Scholars Program)


    In the first phase of the PaSSaGE program, STEM departments will nominate incoming Underrepresented Minority graduate students for the program; six will be selected for the Scholar Transition to Graduate School Program based on recommendations from their research mentors and a student statement addressing research, education and career goals as well as socio-cultural challenges faced. The students will receive a stipend of $4000 each for summer research in their home departments and participation in orientation and skills development workshops. This will allow them to building relationships in the department with the graduate college staff, to get settled in Chicago, and to get a jump-start on graduate school.


    In phase two, Scholars Mentoring and Career Development Program, the students will be incorporated in the Fellows Mentoring Initiative which will provide career and psychosocial mentoring and professional and skills development activities. They will meet with graduate college staff members for one-on-one mentoring, interact with a peer mentor/become a peer mentor, and participate in community building activities and career development events such as brown bag research seminars.


    Each student completing the preliminary/qualifying examination and advancing to PhD candidacy will receive $500 to present their work at a discipline-specific meeting/conference or to attend a non-UIC discipline-specific course or workshop. As they move toward completion of the doctorate, they will also be eligible for an additional $500 for travel to interview for postgraduate job opportunities.


    UIC will assess how the PaSSaGE program impacts the retention and success of URM students. UIC hopes to secure longer term funding from public and private sectors to continue to incrase retention and degree conferrals and to sustain these new initiatives in perpetuity.



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