Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy
Graduate Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy
Universities across Canada are actively working to provide graduate students with opportunities to hone skills that will serve them well in any work place. CAGS and the Canadian Consortium of Graduate Studies Professional Development Administrators, with the support of the Tri-Council, has developed a report, available here, that summarizes and categorizes the skills development offerings available to graduate students, by university, in Canada. This report includes a searchable catalogue to help professional development administrators access content and keep up with trends and innovations. The goal is to continuously update the catalogue and maintain it evergreen. The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) has long been interested in helping graduate students develop the necessary skills for employment. CAGS commissioned a best practices document on professional skills development in 2012, and identified the theme of its Award for Excellence and Innovation in Enhancing the Graduate Student Experience as skills development in 2014.
The interest in professional development for graduate students extends to the Tri-Council. They also are interested in ensuring that the recipients of its grants and scholarships are provided with the best training and opportunities to succeed after they graduate, such as the requirement of professional development training and mentorship committees that would ‘value-add’ universities’ own offerings for the receipt of funding.
Assessment of the effectiveness of existing professional skills development programs for graduates is an ongoing challenge. Very little literature or information exists in Canada or elsewhere concerning evaluation of this type of offering. CAGS and the CCGSPDA, again assisted by the Tri-Council are working on a Phase 2 report on professional development offerings that will address the issue. We look forward to a release date prior to the CAGS conference November 7-9, in Quebec City.
The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) was founded in 1962 to promote graduate education and university research through meetings, publications and advocacy. The Association brings together 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs and the three federal research-granting agencies, as well as other institutions and organizations having an interest in graduate studies.