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  • an illustration with a hand drawing a plan on paper

    Helping Students Stay Motivated with IDPs

    Grad school is full of right-this-second deadlines and long-distance aspirations, and it can be challenging for students to find ways to plan everything that comes in between. Individual Development Plans can help student stay motivated and on the path toward their goals.

  • Lessons from AAU PhD Education Initiative

    The Association of American Universities’ PhD Education Initiative brought together eight universities to think about best practices for student-centered doctoral education, with special emphasis on enhancing career diversity and data transparency. Here are five particularly important lessons we learned.

  • A graduate and mentor embracing at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

    Helping Students Finish Strong

    Graduate students have a lot on their plates at the end of the semester. What can you as a mentor do to help? 

  • GradMAP Canvas logos

    Helping Students Start Strong

    As we near the end of summer break, our sleepy campus will soon be packed with students who are ready to tackle a new year and new semester. Our incoming graduate students, in particular, will likely feel equal parts excitement and anxiety in starting a new program on a new campus and (possibly) in a new state or country. We’ve got a few ideas to help students feel more at home at Illinois.

  • daffodil

    Compassion for our Mentees and Ourselves

    In a "normal" year, the end of the spring semester is a point when fatigue and stress can be heightened for both mentees and mentors alike. Add to that a few years of coping with a pandemic and all of its ramifications, and the end-of-the-year stress becomes even more palpable. It is a good time for compassion both for our mentees and ourselves.

  • person surrounded by images that represent professional skills

    Helping Students Develop Skills for Professional Growth

    Students need to foster independence and resourcefulness in identifying ways to advance their development, and as faculty mentors, you can help them get started with these simple steps.

  • person searching through a toolbox

    Toolkits for Faculty and Staff

    The Graduate College recently updated our toolkits, which address crucial topics in graduate education. These toolkits connect faculty and programs to resources and strategies to support your work with graduate students from recruitment to graduation and beyond.

  • llustration of mentor and mentee doing a high-five over talk bubbles

    The Importance of Checking-in and Providing Feedback

    Providing a structured schedule of meetings with advisees will create space for them to connect and create accountability even in the most difficult situations. 

  • drawing of virtual meeting with Alma and two others

    Making Campus Visits a Part of Your Recruiting Strategy

    You may be surprised at both the variety of ways to approach the virtual campus visit and some of its benefits. We recently talked with our Administrative Advisory Group about ideas worth pursuing. Here is a recap.

  • Creating Pathways to Career Success Amidst Uncertainty

    As graduate students head into this uncertain future, they need supportive mentoring more than ever. In addition to acknowledging the uncertainty and listening to their worries with openness and empathy, here are some simple steps you can take in the coming months to actively support your graduate students.

  • illustration of two hands each holding a puzzle piece

    Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

    It is easy to assume that the environments we create for our students are inclusive simply because we are well-meaning and intend them to be so. But no matter how well-intentioned we are, we can inadvertently perpetuate behaviors that exclude—rather than include—our students if we don’t take the time to reflect on our practices, educate ourselves, and be open to change. 

  • illustration of person in a Zoom meeting while distracting a pet

    Now is the Time to be Transparent, Flexible, and Understanding

    Perhaps the most defining characteristic of this pandemic has been uncertainty and unpredictability. We have little notion of what will happen and when. This is true for our personal and professional lives; this is all new and scary. In our interactions with our graduate students, it is important to acknowledge and discuss this uncertainty. 

  • Helping Students Prepare for the Job Market

    No matter what career paths your students and postdocs are considering, we have resources to help support them throughout the process.