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10 February 2016

Levelling the Field

Nominations are now open for the Canadian Graduate School program that best supports an accessible and productive environment for students.

The CAGS’ sponsored 2017 Graduate Student Experience Award will recognize excellence and impact.

“Financial stress. Mental health. Physical limitations. Graduate school can be a stressful time,” says CAGS executive director, Sally Rutherford. “We know that many graduate schools are increasingly effective at helping students cope and excel. This award will profile a program that helps challenge personal impediments as well as prejudice and misinformation.”

Accessibility and constructive support are key factors the judges will be looking for in a winning program. Rutherford says that graduate administrators have been enthusiastic about sharing experiences and best practices with each other to raise the bar at individual schools.

She points to recent statistics showing a 71 per cent PhD graduation rate over a nine-year period.

“We can do better,” she says. “Whatever accounts for the attrition of the remaining 30 per cent – the impact is costly. Professionally. Personally. And for the university. Often, with the right strategies, students can remain in their programs and complete their degrees.”

The winner will be invited to workshop their program at the annual CAGS conference.

The nomination deadline for the CAGS Graduate Student Experience Award (GSE) is May 31st, 2017. More information about the award, guidelines and profiles of previous winners can be found here.