Summaries of the Open-Ended Comments -- Relevant to Specific Sub-Groups of Respondents
The following open-ended questions were answered by less than 25% of the graduate students. These questions pertained to only specific sub-groups of respondents. Summaries of the most prevalent themes mentioned by graduate students are presented below those items, along with the percent of all survey respondents who answered each question.
If you are in the latter half of your graduate program, what advice would you offer to first-time graduate students coming into your program at this university?-- answered by 23% (22% masterís, 24% doctoral) of graduate students
Respondents offered various advice in answer to this question. The major areas they mentioned included the following. They advised first-time graduate students coming into their program to...
If you did NOT participate in the Graduate Teaching Program (GTP), or received NO training in teaching skills from their program, please explain. -- answered by 13% (7% masterís, 17% doctoral) of graduate students
Many of the respondents said they didnít have the time to take the GTP training, were already employed, or were research assistants, so it was irrelevant to them. Others said they did not participate because their departments donít offer or encourage this training, or in some cases, offer their own training instead. Some students already had previous teaching experience, so it was not necessary for them. Other students had thought it would not be very useful--either according to introductions they had received themselves or to reports they had heard from others.
If you knew that the Graduate School offers career counseling, please describe your experiences with this service. --answered by 14% (15% masterís, 13% doctoral) of graduate students
The majority of graduate students responding said they had not had any experience with this service, although they had heard of it through orientation or other means; a few said they did not know it existed. A number of students had very positive experiences with the counselors there. Some students thought that career services would not be helpful for their specific area of study/employment.
If you rated the services of the Graduate School as "Fair" or "Poor," please explain.--answered by 5% (4% masterís, 6% doctoral) of graduate students
The few graduate students responding to this question reported dissatisfaction with: library hours and holdings, high printing costs, poor computer equipment/facilities, lack of funding for students and departments, high health insurance costs, and bureaucracy surrounding dissertations and graduating. Some respondents said they did not know what services the Graduate School provides.
If you think it is unlikely that you will complete your degree, please explain why.-- answered by 4% (4% masterís, 4% doctoral) of graduate students
The few masterís students responding mentioned plans to transfer to a different program for a PhD, often because of disappointment with the focus or quality of their program. Some noted they had decided to switch careers or attend a different school that is more recognized for their field. Others simply planned to take a break or seek employment before going on to get a doctorate. A number of these few masterís and doctoral students cited disappointment with their department, including faculty and student relationships, and poor or inadequate advising. Several of them also cited concerns about the lack of financial support available.
If you are in a post-doctorate position, please list up to three things CU could do to help you in your research.-- answered by about 6% of doctoral graduate students (surprisingly, 1% of masterís students also respondedómost saying not relevant, but a few answering the question)
The few doctoral students responding primarily mentioned the need for additional funding for research, improved space and facilities, and the need for instruction in grant writing.
If you experienced OTHER obstacles to academic progress, please describe. -- answered by 6% (7% masterís, 6% doctoral) of graduate students
The few graduate students responding mentioned a variety of personal and program-specific obstacles, including health or personal/family problems, long commuting distances, workload, health insurance costs, and personal financial difficulties. Others mentioned problems with course availability, inadequate funding for space and facilities, dissatisfaction with faculty and/or student interactions, and with the programís mentoring and guidance offerings.
What did you find useful about the dissertation workshops? -- answered by 2% of doctoral students
The few doctoral students for whom this question was applicable found the workshops helpful in a number of ways; for instance, the workshops provided assistance with their writing, peer assistance and motivation, guidance on the process, and specifics on critical deadlines and procedures.
What other kinds of workshops would be made available to students writing doctoral dissertations? -- answered by 1% of doctoral students
The few doctoral students who answered this question primarily noted a need for more in-depth group dissertation workshops--perhaps informal ones--to help with the details of writing, and with time management and scheduling; a few doctoral students wanted more information on how to publish their dissertation.
Last revision 09/28/06
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