Thank you for all your great comments on our first post – they are exactly the kind of conversation we were hoping to foster! If you missed last week’s post, don’t forget to go back and look check it out along with the great comments.
Articles outlining the complicated and difficult context of graduate education appear in the news with unsettling frequency.
The lagging economy, the changing nature of higher education funding, the shrinking number of tenure track faculty positions, and technological innovation are all working against traditional measures of graduate student success.
These challenges are only bolstered by the long-held and well-known attrition rate of graduate students: a steady 50% of graduate students never complete their degrees (Lovitts, 2001).
There is no quick fix for graduate education. However, one ingredient of the graduate school experience that has gained attention for its potential to shore up graduate education is the mentoring of graduate students. Quality mentoring can make the difference between whether a student succeeds or not.
We invite you to join us on Thursday, January 31, from 12-2 p.m. in Ekstrom Library, Room 244, when Drs. Beth Boehm and Kathy Baumgartner will lead a Dine and Discover session on the topic of graduate student mentoring. You can learn more and register here: http://louisville.edu/delphi/programs/discover/mentoring.
Additionally, Dr. Leonard Cassuto, known for his column in the Chronicle of Higher Education called “The Graduate Adviser,” will also address the topic on Wednesday, February 13, from 3-4:30 p.m. in Chao Auditorium. More information about the event can be found here: http://graduate.louisville.edu/plan/calendar/the-academic-job-market-an-ecological-introduction.ics/view.
We also invite you to check out the following few web-based resources on mentoring graduate students.
The Mentor Center, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies’ mentoring webpage, provides a host of resources including frequently asked mentoring questions, a bibliography, and access to an advisory board of graduate student mentoring award winners.
The University of Washington Graduate School website has an excellent section on “How to Mentor Graduate Students.” The linked page includes a great list of suggestions to consider and to discuss with graduate students as well links to other helpful mentoring pages.
What are the challenges and opportunities you have found in your mentoring of graduate students?
Lovitts, B.E. (2001). Leaving the ivory tower: The causes and consequences of departure from doctoral study. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.