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Supporting Humanities Doctoral Student Success



A Collaborative Project between Cornell University Library and Columbia University Libraries

A Collaborative Project between Cornell University Library and Columbia University Libraries



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Supporting Humanities Doctoral Student Success Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Supporting HumanitiesDoctoral Student SuccessA Collaborative Project betweenCornell University Library and Columbia University Libraries CUL/IS Staff Forum April 27, 2011 Damon Jaggars, AUL Collections & Services Alysse Jordan, Head, Social Work Library Jennifer Rutner, Assessment & Planning Librarian John Tofanelli, British and American History and Literature Librarian
  • 2. Motivation• Decline in number of degrees awarded: the number of doctorates awarded in the humanities has declined by 12% between 1998 and 2008, while those in science and engineering have increased by 20.4% (2008 NSF SED)• Longer time to completion: while the mean registered time to degree in all disciplines has increased since 1978, it is still the longest in the humanities, increasing to 9 years in 2003 as compared to 6.9 in engineering, 6.9 in the life sciences, and 6.8 in the physical sciences (NSF Time to Degree)• Higher rates of attrition: the cumulative attrition rates at year ten in the humanities are 32% compared to 27% in engineering and 26% in the life sciences (CGS 2008)• Complex landscape: the factors that influence time to completion and retention rates vary according to discipline, institutional characteristics, availability of financial aid, quality of advising, clarity of program requirements, quality of family life, job prospects, lack of community, etc. (Ehrenberg et al., 2009)
  • 3. How can the library better- support doctoral work on campus?
  • 4. Collaboration
  • 5. The 2CUL Project“Columbia and Cornell University Libraries are pleased to join forces in a transformative and enduring partnership between our two great library systems that enables us to pool resources to provide content, expertise, and services that are impossible to accomplish acting alone.” http://2cul.org/
  • 6. Project TeamCornell University Columbia University• Kaila Bussert • Amanda Bielskas• Kathy Chiang • Jim Crocamo• Michelle Hubble • Fadi Dagher• Gaby Castro Gessner (Project • Damon Jaggars Manager) • Alysse Jordan• Sussette Newberry • Victoria Gross (Research• Deb Schmidle Assistant)• Kornelia Tancheva • Jennifer Rutner (Project• Jill Ulbricht (Admin Support) Manager)• Wendy Wilcox • John Tofanelli
  • 7. Day-to-Day • Travel (shuttle) • Video conferencing • Phone calls (many!) • Phone conferencing • Email • Wiki • Group training • Camtasia training video
  • 8. Methods
  • 9. Research ProceduresSpring 2010• Ethnographic Training• Focus groups (5 total)Summer + Fall 2010• Interviews (45 total) – 90 minutes, individual• Post-questionnaire (paper)Winter 2010-11 $• Analysis and reporting
  • 10. 870 pages of transcripts.
  • 11. Code Tree Code Level The Research + The FirstThe Student Institution + The Library Writing Profession Department Institutional Space Coursework Personal Space Librarians Funding Exams + Preparation Job Search Previous Experience Collections Dept. Requirements + Expectations Prospectus + Preparation Second Personal Expectations Culture + Community Discovery Services Writing Process + Advising Revision Self-determination Library Space Publishing Teaching Defense + Preparation Personal Life Information Technology Attrition Management Challenges Third Successes Opportunities Fourth
  • 12. Results
  • 14. Interview Participants Discipline Cornell Columbia TotalArt History 0 7 7Asian Studies 2 0 2Classics 2 0 2Comparative 2 0 2LiteratureEnglish 4 6 10History 7 5 12Medieval Studies 4 8 12Religion 0 6 6Total 21 24 45
  • 15. Interview Participants Cornell Columbia TotalPre-exam 9 8 17Post-exam 12 16 28Yes MA 11 13 24No MA 10 11 21
  • 16. Age of Participants 30 25 20Number of Students 15 10 5 0 21-24 25-30 31-34 35-38 39-44 45-55 56-65 66-75 Age
  • 17. Time from BA graduation Through Expected PhD CompletionGraduation from undergrad to start of PhD Start of PhD to candidacy Candidacy to PhD expected graduation
  • 18. Humanities PhD Student Study Questionaire Please rate your overall satisfaction with the following at CU: Library Spaces 3 6 8 5 1 1 (Columbia only)Library Collections 24 16 2 3 Library Services 21 19 3 2 Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Advising 10 8 2 1 3 Very Dissatisfied (Columbia only) n/a Funding 14 22 2 2 5 Grad Program 14 24 2 3 2 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
  • 19. Time Spent in the Library by Frequency and Duration 10 9 8 7 6No. of Students 5 4 3 2 1 0 1< 1 -2 hrs 2 - 4 hrs 4 - 6 hrs 6 - 8 hrs 8+ Daily Weekly Monthly
  • 20. Activities in the Library by Status Post-Exam Pre-Exam other meet colleagues consult librarian computersresearch w. non-library… research w. library… office hours read write browse 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percentage of Students
  • 21. Humanities PhD Student Study QuestionaireHave you visited any non-CU libraries to use their collections for dissertation research? 5 10 Yes No n/a 30
  • 22. Humanities PhD Student Study QuestionaireDo you receive financial support from CU for the academic year? 4 2 Yes No n/a 39
  • 23. Humanities PhD Student Study QuestionaireDo you have an outside job that provides income? 5 6 Yes No n/a 34
  • 25. The StudentResearch + The Library Writing The The Institution + Profession Department
  • 26. Findings: Provide Space"The thing that has been the best for me is having a space to work. I got more done last year when I had my locked carrel than I had gotten done in years before or since, because it was a dedicated space in which I could keep all of my sources [...]."Opportunities:• Provide dedicated spaces for doctoral students that promote academic and social community building.• Provide spaces that could be reserved by doctoral students for writing groups, dissertation discussion groups, etc.• Increase the number of quiet individual study areas with appropriate lighting, power, and security.• Consider 24/7 access to study/research spaces used by graduate students
  • 27. Findings: Foster Community“It’s having community. Belonging to your community, having friends that are doing this and feeling that you have something worthwhile to say that other people are recognizing it.”Opportunities:• Working with appropriate campus partners, position the library as a central referral hub, or single point of entry, offering guidance and direction in a wide range of areas important to graduate student success.• Serve as a central repository of sample collections of academic documentation and offer guidelines or best practices for preparing reading lists, prospectuses, etc.• Offer hands-on training on developing, understanding, and mastering the documentation of doctoral projects.
  • 28. Findings: Provide Access to Deep Research Collections“I have to say that I have had every resource that I have needed from the library. I really can’t say, ‘Here I am in the sixth year because you didn’t buy that set of resources for me and I don’t have the materials to work with, so how can you expect me produce work?’”Opportunities:• Make channels for graduate students purchase suggestions more visible and ensure that specific resources mentioned as missing are purchased.• Work actively with vendors and publishers to increase the usability of e-books (PDFs, downloadable, no restrictions, and a standard format).• Improve search and discovery interfaces, including library catalogs, web sites, database platforms, and the interconnections between them.• Expand the types of materials allowed for borrowing and lending, such as audio and video formats and primary source materials.
  • 29. Findings: Provide Research, InformationManagement, and Teaching Expertise Assistance“[…] maybe sitting down with an advanced research reference librarian . . . might be in my best interest as I go into the writing stage of my paper, just so that I can make sure I am not saying something that has already been said or duplicating research, or that I am not missing something that is cutting-edge and thats really important to my argument.”Opportunities:• Work with academic departments to promote graduate student awareness of subject librarian services.• Take advantage of events sponsored by academic departments and by the libraries as an occasion for librarians to interact with graduate students and promote library services.• Offer consultation services, workshops and/or online instruction
  • 30. Findings: Developing Scholarly Identity“I had to tell my committee in an email, I plan on having a draft of the first chapter to you by June. If I dont, please get on my case… So, I actually found that I needed to make deadlines for myself and then tell them so that they knew, and even though they wouldnt care, my pride was at stake at that point.”Opportunities:• Host writing or discussion groups to inspire increased productivity during the dissertation writing process.• Offer time management workshops for students approaching or just completing exams.• Work with academic departments to help establish best practices for students who wish to publish before graduation.• Assign librarians to doctoral students as library mentors or "personal librarians," available to consult on research, writing, publication, discipline-specific literatures, etc. and connect them to other appropriate support services on campus as appropriate.
  • 31. Next Steps
  • 32. Next Steps at Columbia• Share findings with CUL/IS staff• Communicate findings to GSAS and the University community• Work with H&H to incorporate findings into planning for Butler Library and DHC• Further analysis
  • 33. Thank you. djaggars@columbia.edu aj204@columbia.edujenrutner@columbia.edu jt628@columbia.edu
  • 34. Photo creditsColumbia UniversityCornell Universityhttp://farm4.static.flickr.com/3110/3224486233_cd6f7372db.jpg