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

Research Partner Profile

University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign

Principal Investigator
Richard Wheeler
Dean of the Graduate College
Tel (217) 333-6715

Co-Principal Investigator
Karen Carney
Associate Dean of the Graduate College
Tel (217) 333-6715

Participating Programs (15)
Animal Sciences
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Computer Science
Educational Psychology
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Political Science

The University of Illinois will conduct a project designed to achieve the following:

  • To build a core group of 15 diverse graduate programs that will develop and pilot initiatives aimed at increasing completion of Ph.D. students across all programs
  • To build on and expand the leadership role Illinois already plays in graduate education, both regionally and nationally, through graduate change initiatives
  • To improve collaboration between departments and campus offices that serve graduate students and graduate units
  • To make better use of campus data on graduate student retention and to make it publicly available
  • To expand upon existing initiatives that focus upon recruiting a diverse graduate student population by providing opportunities designed to retain and connect underrepresented graduate students

Proposed Interventions

  • Coordinating an exit survey for all graduate students
  • Developing a web-based toolkit of departmental resources
  • Establishing a “Ph.D. Completion at Illinois” Web site
  • Developing the structure for the Graduate Program Profiles Project
  • Annual review of graduate student performance
  • Mentoring workshop for graduate faculty
  • Facilitate early research experiences for graduate students
  • Promote research among underrepresented groups through expansion of “Community of Scholars” beyond annual conference to a series of events throughout the year
  • Provide funding for department initiatives
  • Open direct dialogue between students and the graduate college
  • Workshops for students on graduate student professional development
  • Provide Departmental Contacts with Expanded Resources
  • Web-based Toolkit of Resources for Faculty


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Contact Information


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