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

Research Partner Profile

University of Georgia—(Featured Profile)

Principal Director
Maureen Grasso
Dean of the Graduate School
(706) 542-4788

Project Co-Director
Thomas Valentine
Associate Professor, Department of Adult Education
(706) 542-4017

Participating Programs (12)
Computer Science


In Phase I the University of Georgia was the lead institution in collaboration with North Carolina State University and the University of Florida. During the 3-year collaboration, each of the programs conducted a self-assessment and, based on that assessment and available doctoral completion data, set goals for program improvement. The consortium institutions held two three-day conferences during which faculty from the three universities gathered to discuss doctoral completion issues, compare program statistics, and share ideas about doctoral completion. Based on student and faculty interviews, the program self-assessments, and conference conclusions, “best practices” strategies were developed and communicated through the action research brief series. Additionally, a website was developed to share statistics and findings, list useful references, and provide an interactive Problem Solving Forum for doctoral students and faculty. During Phase II, the University of Georgia will move toward sharing “best practices” with all 90 doctoral programs on campus as well as other institutions, and an enhanced website.

Goals and Activities

The implementation of a campus wide-initiative to optimize doctoral completion.
    • Raise awareness through a structured publicity campaign.
    • Foster program improvement through direct meetings.
    • Support program improvement through an enhanced website.

Continuing to work intensively with our twelve Phase I programs
    • Evaluate the long term impact of innovations.
    • Plan and implement continuous improvement efforts.
    • Systematically investigate obstacles to successful change.

Enhancing recordkeeping and clarifying policy issues at the graduate school
    • Clarify and create policy relevant to doctoral completion.
    • Post completion figures for programs on website.
    • Enhance system capabilities for monitoring doctoral completion.

Providing the CGS Ph.D. Completion Project with needed data
    • Continue to collect doctoral completion statistics.
    • Implement the CGS exit survey.
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Contact Information


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