Relationships with URG-Serving Communities
We did not choose a specific community on campus, but rather have decided to make new programming available to all URG graduate students. We recognize that many URG graduate students might not yet belong to an existing advancement community, and our intention is to make our programming and supports available to those individuals.
We have used/will use the communication resources of the Multicultural Graduate Network to market programming and recruit participation. Information about events will also be shared with the leaders of the Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) communities, the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA), and the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) to make them aware of these efforts and hopefully have them encourage their members to participate.
Needs Assessment Distribution
Recognizing that individuals who are already supported in a campus community might have different needs than those who are not, we implemented the Needs Assessment across URG populations on campus. Specifically, we sent the assessment out to all graduate students who belong to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, as well as to those who are identified as females in the Biological, Physical, and Social Sciences academic divisions in university records. There were 2,761 female graduate students who were invited to participate and 888 underrepresented minority graduate students, which was a total of 3,320 graduate students. As a part of the Needs Assessment, we also collected data on disability status, since we were unable to specifically target graduate students with disabilities in our survey distribution.
While graduate students were the primary population invited to participate in the Needs Assessment, the Office of Postdoctoral Studies additionally invited postdocs to complete the survey. The Delta Program maintains an email list of STEM faculty (1,835 email addresses) and they were invited to complete the faculty Needs Assessment survey.
Needs Assessment Results
The SG3 Needs Assessment surveys for graduate students/postdocs and for faculty were implemented in Fall 2017. We ultimately received 650 responses to the graduate student/postdoc survey and 96 to the faculty survey. While the graduate student/postdoc response numbers suggest significant interest from that population in engaging with CITRL INCLUDES-related efforts, it should also be noted that a number of graduate students additionally responded via e-mail to us with general thoughts that they did not feel fit the survey questions or to just express interest in the project. This suggests that the students are interested in these types of career paths and professional development opportunities, and gives us confidence that events hosted will be of interest to a reasonably large number of people.
While we have used an overall review of responses to determine key areas of interest/concern to graduate students and postdocs, an additional analysis to disaggregate data by demographic groups is planned to better understand how interests vary for those different groups so we can develop programming that meets their needs/interests. We hope that the CIRTL INCLUDES data analysts can help with this next level of survey review.
Moving Forward Toward CIRTL – URG Future Faculty Professional Development
In Spring 2018, we plan to begin offering a faculty panel series that focuses on identity (e.g., faculty of color, women faculty in STEM). Our intention is to use these panel conversations as a launch point into additional professional development opportunities either within CIRTL or through modification and local implementation of programming. Additionally, we are interested in developing a (group?) mentoring program that might allow for URG graduate students to network with URG faculty mentors/fellows for more ongoing support and learning. We think that it is important to value the service of these mentors with some form of funding, and so we will seek out campus funding opportunities (e.g., small grants) to support that activity.
It is possible that our needs assessment data, panelists, and mentors will identify professional development needs for URG graduate students that are not currently supported by existing programming. In such a case, we plan to recruit additional campus partners to develop new programming to address these needs where feasible.
Prepared by Jessica Maher and LaRuth McAfee, January 2018