Information for Current Graduate Students > Academic Progress > Scholarly & Professional Development
This section is often overlooked by graduate students. We as graduate students at the University of Guelph are gifted with the amount of help available from all over campus and beyond, but often times is buried underneath all other information handed to us. This page was created in an attempt to shore up all the free offerings in developing core competencies in graduate students. These skills include: professional development, public speaking, scientific writing and analysis, project and time management, as well as teaching. A description is also provided for each service listed below. Please take advantage of these external resources most often designed by professional consultants!
|Professional Development||Public Speaking||Scientific Writing / Analysis||Project / Time Management||Teaching||How is it offered?|
|U of G GSLI||✓||✓||✓||Classroom (On-campus)|
|Library Services (i.e. Dissertation Bootcamp, BrainFood, etc.)||✓||✓||Classroom (On-campus) - Application required for some workshops|
|MITACs||✓||✓||✓||✓||Classroom (OFF-CAMPUS) / Online|
|UNIV*6800 (UTTP)||✓||Classroom (On-campus)|
1. MyGradSkills (Online)
Developed by the Ontario Consortium for Graduate Professional Skills and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, this free service offers professional, teaching, and research-related skills. It features an online platform to develop career training, communication, entrepreneurship, research/writing and teaching skills for graduate students. MyGradSkills is open to all graduate students registered in a postsecondary institution in Ontario, but requires internal registration in its own system.
Previous workshops offered included:
- Converting a CV to a Resume
- Mental Health and Well-Being
- Non-Academic Work Search
- The Versatile Graduate - Exploring Diverse Career Paths for PhDs
- Academic and Professional Communication for New Researchers
- Intercultural Competency
- Mentoring Undergraduate Students
- Intellectual Property - An Entrepreneur's Guide
- Teaching Online - Basic Skills for TAs
2. Graduate Student Learning Initiative (GSLI) (On-Campus Classroom-Based)
Offered within the University of Guelph, this program emphasizes on research and teaching-related skills development. In addition, workshops on specialized data software are at times offered through this organization. Some GSLI workshops are part of the Letter of Recognition Programs, in which students who fully attend the required number of sessions related to a particular theme are awarded a Letter of Recognition by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Eligible workshops include: "BrainFood" (Research/Writing), Scholarly Project & Research Management, SAS, and SPSS.
3. Library Offerings (On-Campus Classroom-Based)
In addition to the Graduate Student Learning Initiative (GSLI), the Learning Commons and Writing Services at the campus' McLaughlin Library offers a plethora of workshops and by-appointment consultations with staff dedicated to strengthening writing skills for graduate students. Some of their programs include:
- "Brainfood" - fundamental sessions on research, writing, and learning, in addition to advanced sessions to accommodate graduate student needs at the various stages;
- Writing Tune-Up - provides grammar, style, and paraphrasing instruction for all writers;
- Dissertation Boot Camp** - intensive one-week programs designed to aid in graduate students' thesis writing and accelerate their completion (**Class size per cohort is limited, therefore application is required, which is usually a month before commencement of the program);
- Writing in the Sciences** - a five-part series designed to assist graduate students in improving their writing for assignments & graduate theses in the sciences (**Only offered during the Fall semester);
- 50-minute writing appointments with professional consultants designed to help graduate students clarify their ideas and structure their documents before sending drafts to their advisors/supervisors;
- Thesis Thursdays** - a NEW offering, developed to provide graduate students additional thesis help in 25-minute same-day appointments with professional consultants (Graduate Student Writing Advisors AKA GSWAs) (**First-come, first-served basis);
- Talk Like an Academic - offers academic communication support for graduate-level English as Additional Language (EAL) students;
- EAL Graduate Writing Camp - a one-week program designed to help EAL graduate students develop long-term editing strategies to help them write more clearly and more quickly; and
- Many more!
Below are some of their past postings in image format (click to enlarge):
4. PhD Ladder (Online)
The PhD Ladder program is designed and pertains to identifying personal career interests and skills for graduate students. It offers services through the following process:
- Self-assessment - identifying skills, interests, and values; then finding career matches;
- Career Match Research - learning more about career matches via online research;
- Informational Interviews - connecting with a professional in your field of interest to gain an insider's perspective;
- Skill Identification - identifying the core skills required for your career of interest; identifying individual skill strengths and weaknesses;
- Skill Building - accomplishing a task that enhances desired skills;
- Using LinkedIn - learning how to use LinkedIn to its greatest potential;
- Resume Writing - learning how to communicate your skills and experiences; group-led constructive criticism on individual resumes;
- Networking - discussing tips for networking online and in-person; and
- Planning for the Future.
5. MITACs STEP Workshops (Off-Campus Classroom-Based / Online)
These free one-day workshops are offered all over Canada including Ontario; therefore, it is typically a drive away. MITACs also offers online workshops. Together, these offerings take place 2-3 days a month per province, and can be accessed via the calendar upon entering the website. Registration is required, including the usage of a credit card as a "ticket", but all offerings are free. Topics include professionalism and networking, presentation and communication, scientific and technical writing, entrepreneurial thinking, as well as project and time management. This service is open to all graduate students registered in a Canadian postsecondary institution.
UNIV*6800 University Teaching: Theory and Practice (UTTP)
This interdisciplinary course is a 0.5 credit graduate level course offered in the fall semester. UTTP fosters the development of a lifelong interest in teaching and learning in higher education.
Over the semester students in UTTP will have the opportunity to develop teaching skills and build self-confidence as teachers. Upon the successful completion of the course students will be able to:
- apply the process of constructive alignment by developing lesson plans and a course syllabus that bring together learning objectives, assessment, and learning activities;
- apply learner-centered teaching approaches which promote deep learning through in-class practice teaching sessions;
- engage in critical inquiry and discussion on topics related to educational theory and practice through peer interaction and in-class activities;
- reflect critically on learning and teaching practices, in both disciplinary and broader contexts; and
- integrate and communicate learning in a discipline-specific teaching dossier.
UTTP is scheduled for Fall 2015 on Tuesdays from 2:30-5:30. Interested students can register through WebAdvisor.
myIDP (for Ph.D students)
More information about this service, as well as tips for Ph.D students regarding career development and employment, is contained in this useful presentation prepared by UoGuelph's Peggy A. Pritchard (firstname.lastname@example.org) . She has written a book titled Success Strategies from Women in STEM: A Portable Mentor, and is in its second edition.
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