Council of Graduate Schools - Ph.D. Completion Project  
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Research Partner Profile

Michigan State University

Principal Investigator
Karen Klomparens
Dean, Graduate School
(517) 353-3220
kklompar@msu.edu

Co-Principal Investigator, Project Director
Judith Stoddart
Assistant Dean, Graduate School
(517) 432-2524
stoddart@msu.edu

Participating Programs (11)
Chemistry
Electrical and Computer Engineering
English
Genetics
History
Microbiology
Neuroscience
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Philosophy
Plant Biology
Sociology

Abstract
Since the Graduate School at Michigan State and individual MSU doctoral programs with a past involvement in national doctoral initiatives have already implemented a number of changes to address key attrition points, the Graduate School proposes to focus study efforts on assessing the effectiveness of these interventions on completion rates. In partnership with 11 doctoral programs, the Graduate School will assess recent interventions and design new strategies for graduate advising, mentoring, and career and professional development. The Graduate School will focus on three comprehensive interventions involving all MSU program partners; partner departments will work individually or in collaboration with each other on interventions specific to their programs. The objectives across all of these areas are:

  1. To build on current research on career and professional development
  2. To disseminate results in disciplinary and national settings through publications and presentations
  3. To track data not currently included in databases
Interventions across all programs
  • Testing assumptions about admissions and recruitment through data-based evidence.
  • Assessing career and professional development programs and looking at the transferability of skills and knowledge across disciplines.
  • Consolidating teaching preparation and creating cross-disciplinary teaching and learning communities.
Interventions specific to programs
  • Admissions and Recruitment - Adapting best practices for different disciplines and demographics
  • Advising and Mentoring - Strengthening annual graduate student evaluation; assessing the practice of lab rotations; and addressing the development of writing skills specific to doctoral students.
  • Program Environment - Changing the program environment to be inclusive of a diverse student body.
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