“Creating A Coordinated Support System for Graduate Student Success” Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

January 30, 2020

By Susan Kingsbury

I attended the “Creating A Coordinated Support System for Graduate Student Success”  conference November 11-12, 2019 in Atlanta, along with Marie Monter, CFANS Graduate Programs Specialist.  The goal of attending this conference was to connect with colleagues from around the country to learn new strategies to better serve, support and advocate for graduate students, in Plant Pathology and across CFANS.  The conference topics were all timely and relevant and specifically targeted for graduate student populations. Some workshops topics included: making the most of graduate student orientation, building community with graduate students, student support structures (University, College, and Department), mental health support, international student support, assessing programs and services, and strategic planning. 

Marie and I walked away with a list of immediate and long term actions and goals, which will benefit PLPA and CFANS graduate students and promote professional development among our CFANS colleagues.  It is our goal that over the next year (and beyond) students will benefit from more coordinated student services throughout the college that includes effective and applicable college/department orientations, emergency funding, better understanding of international student needs, and a pumped up and engaging Graduate Student Appreciation Week.  

To promote the professional development of our colleagues, we provided them with the Council for Advancement Standards in Higher Education (CAS Standards) updated standards and guidelines (best practices) for Graduate and Professional Student Programs and Services to help each GPC, department, and CFANS set goals and assess the programs and services being offered.  It is our goal to assess the programs and services we provide to graduate students to determine the best way to serve and support success for all PLPA and CFANS graduate students.