Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy

Memorial University

General Information

Office responsible for graduate development programs:School of Graduate Studies and Career Development & Experiential Learning
Contact name:Julie Bowering, Career Development Coordinator, Graduate Studies
Contact information:709-864-2976 or
Name of program:EDGE (Enhanced Development of the Graduate Experience)
Social media accounts related to program:Facebook and Twitter
Who is responsible for updating information for websites?Julie Bowering

Graduate Professional Development Programs

What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.) In person and online (online via Mitacs)
Are there sessions specifically for international students?Yes, Professional Skills Development Program for International Student (PSDP)
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?Indirectly via some programming under EDGE for example: MUN Mentors
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?½ Critical and creative thinking ½ Integrity and ethics ½ Global and intercultural awareness ½ Teaching skills ½ Societal and civic responsibility ½ Career development ½ Research
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.Sessions are listed in the EDGE calendar: Highest in demand examples are: career development workshops such as Resume & Cover Letter and Non-Academic Job Search, Preparing for Your Thesis: An Academic Writing Workshop, the Teaching Assistant Training Program, Thesis Writing Retreat and the Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP)
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)Students, post-docs and sometimes alumni and undergrads if there is space
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?No
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?No academic credit, but some offer non-academic certificates. Examples are: Professional Skills Development Program for International Students (PSDP), Teaching Assistant Training Program and the Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP).
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)Varies, and includes: graduate studies, career development, other departments, professors and external organizations.
How are the sessions promoted?Via the EDGE website as well as weekly EDGE list serv emails to graduate officers, various departments and graduate students who have opted in to the list serv. Also, EDGE website is promoted via posters/brochures
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)Varies, and includes: direct emails to the Career Development Coordinator for Graduate Studies and the computer system ORBIS.
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?Rarely. In the past, $15 was charged per person for a workshop to cover the cost of food. Generally all EDGE events are free.

Statistic Information

How many sessions run each year?Approximately 80
How many staff members are involved in administering the central sessions?One
What are the registration capacities and participation rates? (per each session, total enrolment, breakdown in number of students/ postdocs/alumni, breakdown by faculty etc.)Participation rates vary considerably depending on program/event. Examples: - Career development workshops generally have 10-20-25 participants per workshop. - Teaching Assistant Training Program _ 50 participants - Preparing For Your Thesis: An Academic Writing Workshop _ 40 participants - Professional Skills Development Program for International Students (PSDP) _ 40 participants per semester over three semesters - Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) _ 25 participants per year - Thesis Writing Retreat _ 15 to 20 participants per semester over two semesters Participation is 95% students (sometimes a few undergrads) and 5% alumni/post docs Most participants are from Science and Engineering faculties
How is participation in sessions tracked? Manually by Career Development Coordinator, Graduate Studies and via ORBIS
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?To my knowledge, only the Professional Skills Development Program for International Students (PSDP). Surveyed a sample of past participants to gain employment information.

Departmental Level

Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?Several departments offer this. I would not be aware of all departments that do and specifically what they offer. However, a few examples: Engineering _ Teaching Assistant Training Program (specifically for graduate engineering students) Co-op _ Offers PD sessions for international students Student Life _ Offers HIRE, a supervisory skills development program
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?Yes, when guest speakers from other departments speak on various topics under EDGE. Examples: - Learning to Learn (a session on study habits and the best ways to learn) _ speaker is an Engineering professor - Thesis Writing Retreat _ facilitator is the Director of the Writing Centre, and it is held in the Writing Centre - Academic Integrity Workshop & Open Access Workshops _ facilitators are library staff and sessions are held in the library - Teaching Assistant Training Program - offered by Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

General Questions

Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs? The following labour market resources are included in the career development workshop Non Academic Job Search: ½ ½
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?Yes, through some events/workshops that fall under EDGE. Examples: - Career developments workshops such as the Non Academic Job Search and Marketing Yourself: Networking and Informational Interviews - Describing Your Transferable Skills: Key to Career Success (session offered by a guest speaker from another department) - Annual Career & Graduate School Fair
Is there any additional information you would like to share?There are multiple events/sessions/workshops/programs that fall under EDGE at Memorial University _ too numerous to mention them all! Most of them are under the EDGE nine skill categories here: A good sampling of the type/number of EDGE events that occur each semester can be found at the EDGE calendar: I hope this helps _