Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy

Royal Roads University

General Information

Office responsible for graduate development programs:Vice President Academic & Provost, AVP Research and Faculty Affairs, Faculty and College deans
Contact name:Matthew Heinz, Dean, College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Contact information:Matthew.heinz@royalroads.ca
Name of program:Each RRU graduate program has responsibility for its own professional development opportunities. At RRU, admission occurs to program, not to the university or to a Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Website:Www.royalroads.ca
Social media accounts related to program:Each graduate program updates its own program description.
Who is responsible for updating information for websites?Our graduate programs are designed for working professionals, meaning that the majority of our students have years of professional working experience. Those who lack experience in a particular field can benefit from conversations (online and in-person) with our practitioner-scholars, who provide our instruction.

Graduate Professional Development Programs

What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.) Our graduate programs are designed for working professionals, meaning that the majority of our students have years of professional working experience. Those who lack experience in a particular field can benefit from conversations (online and in-person) with our practitioner-scholars, who provide our instruction.
Are there sessions specifically for international students?Yes.
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?Those graduate programs that do not require extensive professional experience for admission offer internships. For example, the School of Humanitarian Studies offers master?s degrees in Human Security and PeaceBuilding, Conflict Analysis and Management, and Disaster and Emergency Management. Students who lack experience in these fields can take advantage of an internship: An experiential education experience (internship) which guides student in applying theoretical knowledge and professional skills in a supervised, professional, domestic or international context relevant to their program of study. Requires a minimum of 420 contact hours at the host organisation, normally completed over a period of 3 to 5 months. Brings classroom learning, theoretical concepts and academic literature together with practical learning, insights from the field of practice and application of skills. (http://www.royalroads.ca/prospective-students/master-arts-disaster-and-emergency-management/courses) Our MA in Intercultural and International Communication On Campus, which primarily attracts international graduate students, offers an internship experience as well: Guides students in applying theoretical knowledge and professional skills in a supervised, professional, domestic, or international context relevant to their program of study. Brings classroom learning, theoretical concepts, and academic literature together with practical learning, insights from the field of practice, and application of skills. Pre-requisite: RRU IICSIP Internship and Career Management Course offered through the Work Integrated Learning Office. Our MA in Tourism and Hospitality Management offers the following internship: The Internship course supports you to make meaning of your internship experience and develop your professional competencies essential to your success in the tourism industry. During the internship, you will complete a series of assignments for reflection on your overall learning from the MATM program. Our Master?s in Global Management, which primarily attracts international students, offers a high degree of internship preparation. It includes Internship Preparation: This interactive workshop series is designed to prepare you for your upcoming internship experience. During the course you will complete key activities and participate in discussions related to everything from your strengths and preferences to researching your industry, preparing your resume, cover letter and online presence, to networking, interviewing and negotiating skills. By the end of these workshops you will have the skills to find and complete a successful internship, as well as successfully manage your career following graduation. The internship itself is part of the capstone course MGMT589: INTERNSHIP RESEARCH PROJECT: Provides students with opportunities to apply their skills and to integrate concepts from their previous coursework in the context of a professional setting. The 23-week course requires completing an internship (fulfilling a minimum of 12 weeks at the workplace), preparing supporting reflective assignments on the internship experience to integrate workplace learning with MGM course concepts, and designing and executing a substantive applied-research project related to their internship workplace or industry. Pre-requisites: all prior coursework or equivalent must be successfully completed before participating in MGMT 581 (http://www.royalroads.ca/prospective-students/master-global-management/courses)
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?Internship preparation, career assistance, employment preparation
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.All sessions are focused specifically on the graduate program area offering the session (e.g., communication, tourism)
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)Graduate students.
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?For some of our programs, the internship experience is required; for others, it is only required for students lacking professional experience in the field.
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?All our internships are offered for academic credit, typically 6 credit hours.
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)The graduate program areas design the internships and ensure that they are aligned with the curriculum. Internship courses are subject to academic approval processes like any other course. Internship preparation workshops, career counselling and similar services are offered through Student Services and our Work Integrated Learning office: http://www.royalroads.ca/current-students/work-integrated-learning
How are the sessions promoted?Via individual graduate programs.
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)Via individual graduate programs.
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?No.

Statistic Information

How many sessions run each year?NA
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?NA
What are the registration capacities and participation rates? (per each session, total enrolment, breakdown in number of students/ postdocs/alumni, breakdown by faculty etc.)NA
How is participation in sessions tracked? NA
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?NA

Departmental Level

Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?All of our programming occurs at the program (department) level.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?No.

General Questions

Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs? Yes. Labour market information and outcomes are a required component of all RRU credential proposals and considered in the internal and external academic approval processes. They inform the design of internships and other work integrated learning experiences.
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers? Yes, mostly through the networks of our practitioner-scholars, who provide the majority of our instruction.
Is there any additional information you would like to share? I?m responding to your query on behalf of Dr. Steve Grundy, Vice President Academic and Provost at Royal Roads. We do not have a Faculty of Graduate Studies, or a Dean of Graduate Studies, per se because the majority of our students are graduate students. Different aspects of that role are shared by Dr. Grundy, Dr. Mary Bernard, who is the Associate Vice President for Research and Faculty Affairs, and the university?s deans. It is always challenging for our institution to be adequately represented in nationwide surveys because our institutional student profile and programming doesn?t fit Ïneatly? into traditional categories. The notion of graduate professional development has been key to our university since its foundation _ but we have, as an institution _ approached this challenge from a different angle. Rather than trying to integrate external professional development into graduate studies, we began with the notion that professionals (whether beginning or mature professionals) would benefit from graduate studies that integrate theory and praxis and draw from a scholar-practitioner model. Professional development occurs in many dimensions in our programs _ by the nature of immersion in courses with students who are also practitioners, although often from slightly different fields of practice, by the nature of the course material and academic programming, and by the nature of our faculty, who are scholar-practitioners themselves.