Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy

York University

General Information

Office responsible for graduate development programs:Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies
Contact name:Kim McIntyre
Contact 416-736-2100 ext. 22993
Name of program:Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Skills (GPPS)
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Who is responsible for updating information for websites?Updates to basic content are the responsibility of the postdoctoral services coordinator. More substantial changes are handled by the Communications Manager and Communications Assistant.

Graduate Professional Development Programs

What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.) In person workshops are available. We have tried very hard to make sessions interactive and the active learning sessions are more well received.
Are there sessions specifically for international students?No
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?No, however, we do this under another umbrellas and within many of our graduate programs.
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?The mandate of the GPPS Program is to offer graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at YorkU opportunities to enrich the versatile and transferable professional skills gained through graduate work, and to develop tools for success within a range of academic and non-academic professional contexts. The GPPS program offers opportunities to develop and reflect on those skills built during graduate research and the diverse ways in which they can be applied and leveraged. Because of its focus on versatility, this program emphasizes the enrichment of skills which are advantageous in a range of career paths. Because of its focus on transferability, this program emphasizes skills which may be carried forward and applied in multiple future contexts. The session focus on five themes: Career Pathways and Options, Knowledge Transfer Strategies, Transferable Professional Skills, Writing Success, and Getting Connected On Campus and Beyond.
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.The Academic Job Search for Graduate Students and Postdocs* Translating a CV to a R_sum_ workshop for PhD students & Post Docs Leveraging your STEM PhD outside of academia (for York PhD students and Postdocs)* Leveraging your PhD outside of academia (for York PhD students and Postdocs in the Social Sciences & Humanities) Practice Your Conference Presentation Skills I & II Imposter Syndrome Workshop Communicating Assertively Project Management* Moving Past Dissertation Roadblocks *indicates 3 most in-demand sessions
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)Graduate students and postdocs are eligible.
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?Currently, the programs are not mandatory. We do have one program that is looking to make participation mandatory. We may see this in future.
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?No
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)Sessions are developed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies in conjunction with on campus partners such as the Career Centre, Talent Acquisition & Development, the Writing Centre, the Knowledge Mobilisation Unit, the York University Retirees Association and all York Faculties. Sessions are delivered by YorkU staff and professors and by experts from other universities and from outside academia as appropriate.
How are the sessions promoted?Sessions are promoted through the website, a monthly newsletter and through graduate programs.
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)Participants register through Eventbrite.
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?No

Statistic Information

How many sessions run each year?12
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?One primary with additional participation of other staff and Associate Deans in curriculum development and reporting.
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 number of attendees at last year?s events ranged from 4 to 37. In total a few hundred people participated although we do not have a breakdown available to indicate how many were students vs. postdocs, nor do we have the breakdown by faculty.
How is participation in sessions tracked? Sign in sheets are used to track participation.
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?Participants are surveyed after each session and asked to provide feedback on effectiveness. The program is only 2 years old and we have yet to measure impact immediately or over time.

Departmental Level

Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?Many programs offer professional development internally. At the present time, there is no central list of this programming.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?Yes. Examples include brownbag sessions on non-academic job resources provided to students in particular graduate programs and workshops on professional skills, such as professional communications, tailored specifically to students in programs where Graduate Program Directors identify particular needs.

General Questions

Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs? Not at this time, although we will be thinking through how the skills employers are looking for are delivered or not through our graduate programming and ensuring that the GPPS program is filling necessary gaps.
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?Not at this time
Is there any additional information you would like to share?NA