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Graduate Professional Development Programs
What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.)
Are there sessions specifically for international students?
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?
Skills ranging from ensuring success in the graduate program to transitioning to the workplace environment (e.g., communication/presentation, interpersonal relationships, career preparation, entrepreneurship, etc.)
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?
If a student completes six or more workshops, they can claim them on their co-curricular record.
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)
Sessions are delivered by partners within the University (Academic Learning Centre, International Centre, Student Counselling Services, etc.), professors, and several external organizations.
How are the sessions promoted?
Facebook, Twitter, Graduate Student Weekly email, monthly Workshops email, Graduate Student Association newsletter, Grad Studies website, posters, orientation events, monitors in various offices and libraries, and via graduate student advisors and department contacts
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)
Participants register through a centralized system (same system as they used to apply)
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?
How many sessions run each year?
Between 130 – 150 on average per year. GradSteps program started Fall 2014.
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?
There are currently 40 presenters.
What are the registration capacities and participation rates? (per each session, total enrolment, breakdown in number of students/ postdocs/alumni, breakdown by faculty etc.)
The registration capacities depend on the room being used for the session. Library workshops are held in a lab with 14 computers, so capacity is limited. In our third year of a program we have a better idea as to anticipated attendance so can generally book the correct room size. Our average attendance rate over the past three years is 72%.
How is participation in sessions tracked?
Students sign registration roster at workshop; attendance is then noted in registration system.
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?
Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?
We’re not aware of specific workshops offered at the department level, but believe that this is likely.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?
Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs?
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?
Is there any additional information you would like to share?
Canadian Association for Graduate Studies
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.