Learning Outcomes1. Understand the current issues facing graduate students in regard to their advisement and to the availability of student services2. Learn about the creation and implementation of the Graduate Academic Services Center at Georgia Southern University3. Discuss opportunities and challenges of advising graduate students and working with graduate faculty
4. Understand the multi-dimensional role of a graduate advisor, the nuances of graduate advisement and services, and how they differ from undergraduate advisement5. Explore ways to meet the needs of graduate students in non-traditional ways
Presentation OverviewI. University and College OverviewII. The ProposalIII. Graduate Academic Services Center (GASC) OverviewIV. Students ServedV. Advising ModelVI. Challenges and Tips for Success
Georgia Southern University• Founded 1906• Dedicated to academic distinction in teaching, scholarship, and service• Carnegie Doctoral/Research University• Fall 2011 Enrollment – Undergraduate: 17,538 – Graduate: 2,692• Student/Faculty Ratio – 23:1
College of Education• Bachelors degree in Education is the oldest professional degree at Georgia Southern• Excellence and innovation in teaching, scholarship, and outreach• U.S. News & World Report Top Online Education Program rankings• Fall 2011 Enrollment – Undergraduate: 1,133 – Graduate: 1,453 • (54% of the total graduate population)
Degree Programs2012 - 2013 Academic Year• 26 graduate programs – 15 fully online – 5 hybrid• 4 endorsement programs – 3 fully onlineMany of these programs are moving fully onlinebeginning Fall 2012 to meet the needs of our students.
Assessment of College• Gap in student services and advisement• Faculty with 200+ advisees plus normal workload• Georgia Southern undergraduate alumni in graduate programs• University focus on increasing graduate student enrollment• Faculty staffing has not kept pace with increased enrollment• Need for faculty to devote more time to research and grant writing• Increased offering of online degree programs
Development• Administrative Coordinator for Graduate Programs – Role was to assist Doctoral faculty with the two Ed.D. programs – As graduate programs grew, more workload and demands placed on this position• During Spring semester 2011, research completed on graduate advisement center models around the country• Proposal created based on College needs with structure modeled from other institutions• Proposal was created through the College’s Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Research and Education
Development• Proposal was sent to all COE faculty and department chairs for review and suggestions and revisions were made – Some faculty were resistant to proposal as they did not want to lose advising and mentoring role with their students• Proposal was then sent to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and the Provost’s Office for review and both the Dean and Provost approved the Center to start July 1, 2011• Proposal was first of its kind for Georgia Southern. No other unit has a focused graduate services center. The Dean of College of Graduate Studies is encouraging other colleges to adopt.
ImplementationGraduate Academic Services Center• Opened July 2011 – Limited Services• Two full-time staff and two graduate assistants – Fall 2011 was spent training• Funding Sources – Online tuition and Graduate School
• Began advising Spring 2012 – Center fully operational with advising and other tasks• Recruitment – Graduate Student Recruitment Plan – Blog – Facebook• Admissions – Prospective student questions – Background checks – Interview scheduling – Posting decisions• Data collection and Assessment – Program, College unit, and Grad Center assessment
Student OverviewGraduate Academic Services Center• Adults• Average age 33• Professionals working in the field• Part-time students• Majority distance learners• Have experience as professional educators• Georgia Southern undergraduate alumni
COE Graduate Advising ModelShared Structure• Central administrative unit• Advising by departments and Center – Programs determine our level of advisement• RecruitmentGraduate Academic Services Center• One-on-one distance advising• Individualized program of study – Faculty mentor for research
What do you think graduate students want in a relationship with their advisor?
Tips for Working with Graduate Students• Flexibility• Understanding of outside obligations• Alternative ways of communication• Clear, up-to-date, and accurate requirements and deadlines• Transparent information• Easy access to information
Tips for Working with Graduate Faculty• Flexibility• Ease of access• Stay organized• Quick learn on program requirements
Opportunities Moving Forward• COE Philosophy of Advising• Faculty training on advisement and recruitment• Graduate Student Orientation (online and on-campus)• Online COE Graduate Student Handbook• Online COE Graduate Assistant Handbook• COE Graduate Assistant Training• Revision of program and department websites – GASC website