Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy

Ryerson University

General Information

Office responsible for graduate development programs:Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean
Contact name:Leslie Mutic, Graduate Student Engagement Officer
Contact and
Name of program:Future Smart: Essential Professional Skills for Graduate Students
Social media accounts related to program:Facebook and twitter related to School of Graduate Studies only. We use this to promote Future Smart.
Who is responsible for updating information for websites?Leslie Mutic

Graduate Professional Development Programs

What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.) Workshops and lectures etc. in-person, plus online offerings such as Also YSGS events such as lecture series/3MT etc.
Are there sessions specifically for international students?Not at this time.
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?No
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?Four skills categories: communication and personal effectiveness; teaching and presentation skills; research and information management; career skills.
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand. and click on the programs tab. Do not know what is in high demand.
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)All grad students and post-docs.
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?Not mandatory. Not part of a checklist.
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?A certificate of completion is awarded, plus notation on student transcripts once seven units have been completed.
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)Some external (Mitacs); most are campus partners such as the library, career centre, student learning support etc. Some are developed by YSGS and we use on - and off-campus people to deliver.
How are the sessions promoted?Various means such as: social media; grad website; grad newsletter; campus electronic signage; emails; promotion through individual programs and departments; posters; and partner cross-promotion.
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)It is not a centralized system. Depending on who is offering the particular program, it could be through that program (like Mitacs or campus partners (like the Career Centre); or it could be done by YSGS through using Eventbrite/Google Docs Forms.
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?No. All our programs are free.

Statistic Information

How many sessions run each year?Hard to say as partners such as the career centre and teaching and learning office run workshops all year, and students access their calendars to choose. So there are many, many sessions available.
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?In YSGS, the student engagement officer is the main staff person. We use up to five others to help at YSGS events. For campus partners, and Mitacs, there is usually one person delivering each workshop.
What are the registration capacities and participation rates? (per each session, total enrolment, breakdown in number of students/ postdocs/alumni, breakdown by faculty etc.)Registration capacities don?t matter, as it is rare to get more than 50% of those registered to actually show up.
How is participation in sessions tracked? In events that are run by YSGS, we keep spreadsheets for some events.
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?Not at this time.

Departmental Level

Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?Yes. We are not always kept in the loop however. The sciences and business tend to offer quite a few.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?Not really, but this is something we are looking at.

General Questions

Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs? Yes, somewhat.
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?Nothing beyond the Future Smart program.
Is there any additional information you would like to share?Promotion continues to be a challenge. Some students just don?t read their emails or the newsletter. The information is there, but they don?t always read it. Also, Ryerson is a commuter school, so many students don?t want to/can?t stay at the end of the day.