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

Research Partner Profile

Purdue University

Principal Investigator
Mark J.T. Smith
Interim Dean of the Graduate School
(765) 494-2604

Participating Programs (14)
Biological Sciences
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Political Science
Psychological Sciences
Sociology and Anthropology

Purdue University partnered with the University of Notre Dame in Phase I of the Ph.D. Completion Project.  They implemented two interventions: 1) a peer-mentoring program, where advanced students work to integrate an incoming student into the departmental culture, and 2) a project to treat attrition, not as a failure, but as a starting point for a new career track.  In Phase II Purdue will impact degree completion through the following strategies to: 1) assess the level of student engagement in promising practices and 2) enhance and assess the available professional development and promising practices resources and services. The premise underlying the first strategy is that the more students engage in the promising practices and utilize the resources available, the more likely they are to complete. Promising practices includes dissertation completion activities, mentoring practices including student-advisor relationships, networking, proposal writing, and other career and professional development activities. The focus of the second strategy is to increase understanding of programs and resources available to graduate students, faculty, and staff, and to enhance programs based on feedback from participants and information gained in Strategy 1.

Strategies and Interventions

Strategy 1: Assess the level of student engagement in promising

    • Survey doctoral students on their level of engagement in identified       promising practices and professional development activities
    • Track student participation in professional development activities

Strategy 2: Enhance and assess the available promising practices
               resources and services

    • Enhance the Professional Development Learning Community       (PDLC) activities and resources
    • Communicate and train faculty and staff on a Professional       Development Learning Community services and resources
    • Develop Graduate Student Leadership Forum
    • Develop, enhance and assess programs to integrate fellows into       the process of graduate education


Tools and Templates
Contact Information


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