The first-year of a graduate student’s life can be daunting. The transition from being a consumer of knowledge to a producer of knowledge can be overwhelming. Students also balance work in an assistantship with course work, typically they are now much further away from their home-base, are quite often living in a different culture, and some students have family responsibilities. To help each student reach their potential as a productive, creative thought leader, we need to support them as they make this first, vital transition at the start of their graduate studies.
We have created graduate-level Learning Communities to meet this need. This builds on our highly effective Learning Community (LC) program for first-year undergraduate students. Each Graduate Learning Community (GLC) comprises of weekly seminars which focus on the milestones of graduate work, research skills, teaching pedagogy, leadership training, and, in general, on what it takes to be a successful graduate student in a particular discipline. The GLC’s are based within a discipline or interdisciplinary graduate program. Many of the topics may already be covered in existing orientation or 1st semester seminars, but the GLC provides more structure and adds in peer-mentoring and community-building.
Contact Assistant Dean Craig Ogilvie if you are interested in starting a Learning Community in your department.