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What Matters in Graduate School?

What Matters in Graduate School? Exploring Patterns of Student Engagement, Academic and Personal Development 2003

This study investigates how graduate students are engaged in a unique spectrum of university and departmental activities proven to be important to their academic and personal development. Using the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) conceptual framework, the graduate student engagement model is empirically developed and tested. Data collected from 2,504 graduate students at University of Missouri evidence that graduate students engage in educational activities in a similar pattern of undergraduates. Doctoral and master's students, regardless of gender, whether they are full or part time, have a consistent pattern of engagement. Students at different stages of the program have distinctive advising needs. Students with different career plans take unique patterns of engagement. What graduate education impacts students most is the personal development, followed by academic development. Students voiced the need for quality advising programs focusing on career options, as well as clearly communicated procedures in a timely fashion. Social life is another important aspect that needs to be improved.

Reviewed 2011-03-28