Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy

University of Toronto

General Information

Office responsible for graduate development programs:School of Graduate Studies
Contact name:Liam O?Leary
Name of program:Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program
Social media accounts related to program:
Who is responsible for updating information for websites?Liam O?Leary Karen Williamson

Graduate Professional Development Programs

What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.) We have over 100 different ûofferingsË that are offered in person. We recommend online offerings from MaRS, Lynda, S2S, and
Are there sessions specifically for international students?Yes, we have transition advisors that facilitate sessions.
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?We encourage students to find mentors. We just supported the launch of the Hart House Mentorship program. We train students in how to find a mentor.
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?4 areas: teaching competency, research-related skills, personal effectiveness, and communication skills
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.Oral Presentation Skills Writing SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR grants Academic Conversation Skills (non-native speakers) Mini-MBA Project Management Summer Institute for Graduate Professional Development
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)Grad Students and postdocs
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?Some professors include them in their course, but this is rare. I prefer an optional approach.
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?Transcript Notation for 20 GPS Credits (60 hours of instruction)
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)Subject Matter Experts prepare and reviewed by GPS Curriculum Committee composed of faculty, directors, vice-deans.
How are the sessions promoted?Though email, face-to-face, posters, website.
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)Multiple systems
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?No

Statistic Information

How many sessions run each year?Over 100 unique offerings. These offerings could be between 3 hours to 6 months. We also have hundreds of professional development opportunities that are not credited by the GPS program. These include one-on-one meetings, major events, panel discussions, site visits, and many more.
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?1 staff member oversees program. 20-30 partners facilitate sessions. Curriculum committee is composed of 12 members.
What are the registration capacities and participation rates? (per each session, total enrolment, breakdown in number of students/ postdocs/alumni, breakdown by faculty etc.)We are limited by space. 23 students on average for a workshop. Larger events can have 70-100 students. All are graduate students.
How is participation in sessions tracked? Attendance sheets and deliverables received
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?We are conducting the 10 000 PhD program to track the career trajectory of the last 15 years. We could compare with GPS registration data.

Departmental Level

Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?Yes. Computer Science, Biochemistry, Immunology, Kinesiology, Astronomy, Psychology, English, Faculty Arts & Science, Education, Information, Management, etc Almost all have begun to offer something. Some are just further ahead than others.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?Yes, we collaborate, facilitate, and broker opportunities. We also advise on best practices.

General Questions

Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs? Yes, we discuss career trajectories, Conference Board of Canada, HEQCO, and our own internal data.
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?Yes, we discuss career trajectories, Conference Board of Canada, HEQCO, and our own internal data.
Is there any additional information you would like to share? Please call me and we can discuss further. 647-470-4088 This field is growing quickly and there is a lot to learn and discuss.