Council of Graduate Schools - Ph.D. Completion Project  
Project Information Project Participants Quantitative Data Promising Practices

Research Partner Profile

Florida State University

Principal Investigator
Nancy Marcus
Dean of Graduate Studies
(850) 644-3500

Co-Principal Investigators
Judy Devine
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
(850) 644-3500

Barbara Johnson
Coordinator, Graduate School
Tel 850-644-3500

Participating Programs (8)
Clinical Psychology

The goal of Florida State University’s project is to identify and implement strategies that lead to enhanced doctoral retention and completion rates for students enrolled in large public research-oriented institutions such as FSU. To achieve this goal FSU will implement six interventions, and assess their effectiveness by monitoring student progress and gathering direct feedback via surveys. The centerpiece of this effort will be the development of a web-based online system for tracking graduate student progress. This system will enable the Office of Graduate Studies to collect and analyze student progression data (e.g., qualifying exam, thesis defense) by a number of factors including discipline, ethnicity, residency and gender. These data will be used to identify obstacles to doctoral completion and identify best practices.


Web-based Online Tracking System
Develop an online tracking system with benchmarks of doctoral education (e.g., pre-dissertation milestones) reporting student progression toward degree.

Professional Development
Expand the Professional Development Workshop series for graduate and postdoctoral students to incorporate the specific norms of the research disciplines, to clarify processes and procedures for students advancing from candidacy to degree, and to illuminate support, networking and mentoring opportunities available to graduate students.

Mentoring and Training of New Faculty
Develop a graduate student supervision workshop for new faculty.

Annual Review of Graduate Student Progress
Include in the web-based online tracking system annual assessments of progress for each graduate student. Review all annual assessments completed, follow-up on those that are incomplete, and review the quality and utility of the feedback being provided to students.

Join Mentornet, an award-winning national program that uses the internet to link mentors and mentees, to complement university’s existing supplemental campus-wide mentoring.

Feedback Through Surveys
Conduct exit surveys of both doctoral recipients and students who do not complete their doctoral work. Use feedback from surveys to develop solutions that will reduce attrition.

Tools and Templates
Contact Information


© 2008 Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project
All rights reserved.