Graduate students at Western must make satisfactory progress towards the degree according to milestones set by the program. Regular reports are required to help monitor students’ progress. Currently these progress reports are managed in a variety of ways in each of the graduate programs at Western.
This project aims to improve the way we regulate, manage and support this shared responsibility and the effect it has over timely graduate degree progression. Progression and graduating rates are critical outcomes and Western must be aware of our graduate students’ progress through various milestones throughout their careers and how other elements impact this path to success.
In May 2013, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Office of the Registrar, and Western Information Systems Group completed work on a project releasing the vanilla Campus Solutions component Advisor Center to faculty members holding SGPS membership, for the purposes of monitoring graduate student progress for those students recorded under their supervision. While the out-of-the-box Advisor Center has provided our supervisors with considerable detail on course registration and grading it ignores the work graduate students complete outside of the traditional classroom (i.e. thesis progression, comprehensive exams, publications) and fails to provide details on other influences on student success (i.e. financial aid, professional development). Furthermore the potential for sharing this information with other key stakeholders (graduate assistants, graduate chairs, and associate deans) has been ignored to date.
Current Documents (for SGPS implementation)
Historical Documents (from PeopleSoft-based proposal)
SGPS currently requires the Graduate Chair to approve each student’s plan of study and ensure the preparation and filing of an annual progress report between student and supervisor. These reports are designed to gauge the progress a student has made towards their degree and plan the next phase of their studies. To date, the methods by which these tasks are completed have been left to programs to determine. As such the 87 distinct programs that offer graduate degrees to Western students have each crafted unique and varying methods to record and maintain this information. Time and effort is being spent across the community maintaining unique processes that all have a common objective. In addition, with the lack of consistency and consolidation of these reports there is no method to gauge the overall progress of the graduate student body across the various disciplines and faculties on campus.
SGPS is requesting an extension of the vanilla Advisor Center component and the creation of a batch reporting process which will manage the required collection and oversight that both measures and communicates the progress of all graduate students including existing Student Center information (i.e. courses, milestones) alongside the following new areas of information to Student Center:
This will ensure that our students are given a consistent and reliable method to communicate their progress to their academic stakeholders and feedback can be collected in a standardized, accessible, and quantifiable manner across the community. SGPS will ensure that the community has the necessary resources to keep ahead of student needs and Western will be able to collectively review how our students achieve success throughout each of our graduate programs.