Expectations for Graduate Education

Did you know there was entire page devoted to “Expectations for Graduate Education” at VT?  Until PFP last night, I had no idea.

At a Glance,” the expectations are on four main parties:  Grad Students, Faculty, Program/Department, and the Graduate School.  Many of these responsibilities involve clear explanation of intentions and requirements, ethical behavior, the providing of information and support, and above all a hands-on approach to education.  The onus isn’t put completely on the student to just “figure it out”; all members are accountable in this system.

The Much Longer Document (22 pages) defines a graduate student, which is interesting to me, because I don’t know that I would have ever thought to define who we are:

Graduate students are individuals seeking advanced degrees or certificates, either full- or part-time, at any of the campuses or programs of Virginia Tech. They are in the process of advancing from receiving knowledge to creating, enhancing, and taking ownership of new knowledge. Graduate students have various backgrounds, life experiences, and goals. Graduate students have diverse needs related to their multiple roles at Virginia Tech, such as student, researcher, educator, mentor, emerging and advancing professional, engaged scholar, and responsible citizen. (Page 4)

I (mostly) like it.  The one thing I find missing is that we aren’t just Tech-oriented.  We, like all people, have roles outside of the university.  To be sure, it does say that we have “various backgrounds, life experiences, and goals,” but given how often the work-life balance is decimated in graduate school, a nod to the need for such a balance would be a welcome addition in my mind.

Many portions of the longer document talk about the relationship between students and their faculty/department/Grad School with regard to mentoring.  As that is an upcoming topic in PFP, I look forward to exploring this more

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