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

University of California—Los Angeles

Principal Investigator
Claudia Mitchell-Kernan
Vice Chancellor, Graduate Studies & Dean, Graduate Division
Tel (310) 825-4383
cmkernan@gdnet.ucla.edu

Co-PI and Project Director
Angela James (profile)
Assistant Dean, Graduate Division
Tel (310) 794-5363
ajames@gdnet.ucla.edu

Participating Programs (20)
ACCESS- An admission and first year graduate course of study for 12 Ph.D. granting programs in the molecular, cellular, and integrative life sciences.

Anthropology
Art History
Biology
Chemical engineering
Chemistry
Comparative Literature
Electrical Engineering
English
French and Franchophonic Studies
History
Italian
Music
Neuroscience
Philosophy
Physics
Political Science
Psychology
Slavic Language and Literature
Sociology

Abstract
UCLA proposes to assess the effectiveness, quality, and impact of existing interventions, as well as to develop several new interventions to improve the quality of graduate education. A significant research component in this proposal reflects an institutional goal of better understanding how the impact of specific interventions varies across academic fields in recognition of the significant disciplinary variations in graduate education. Targeted interventions to improve doctoral completion across the campus are the expected result of this research. UCLA has developed a comprehensive plan to produce accurate data, to encourage a better understanding of attrition and doctoral degree completion on the UCLA campus, and to disseminate information based on their findings in the broader national academic community.

Proposed Interventions

  • Track, contact, and query non-registered students
  • Analyze attrition and enrollment-gap correlation
  • Analyze determinates of early versus late attrition
  • Present cohort data on the web along with other relevant issues; an interactive table with this information will provide essential detail while preserving student privacy
  • Assess of Quality of Graduate Education (QGE) Program regarding the efficacy of varying types of interventions on improving completion rates
  • Revise graduate study handbook
  • Revise faculty advisor’s guide
  • Annual advisor training workshops for new faculty
  • Graduate student “survival skills” workshops

 

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