Graduate Education in the United States

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1 Graduate Education in the United States Finnish Higher Education Experts USA Study Tour 2009 October 26, 2009 Robert Sowell Vice President for Programs and Operations Council of Graduate Schools

2 Outline of Presentation Statistics on Graduate Education in the U.S. Administration of Graduate Education Challenges Facing Graduate Education in the U.S. The Council of Graduate Schools

3 Educational Attainment Of the U.S. population 18 and over in 2008: 7.5% had a master s degree as their highest degree 1.3% had earned a doctorate Socioeconomic status plays key role High quartile 7.3% had a master s degree as their highest degree 1.4% had a doctorate or a professional degree Low quartile 0.3% had a master s degree as their highest degree

4 Graduate Degree-Granting Institutions in the U.S. Over 4,350 U.S. institutions award degrees 1,823 award graduate degrees (42%) Of the graduate degree-granting institutions: 29% are public institutions 60% are private not-for-profit institutions 11% are private, for-profit institutions

5 Graduate Enrollment by Institution Type, Fall 2006 Public, 53% Private, forprofit, 8% Source: National Center for Education Statistics Private, notfor-profit, 39%

6 Types of Graduate Degrees Available Doctoral Ph.D. Research degree Professional Doctorate Includes medicine and law, but increasingly others are being offered Master s Master of Science and Arts Predominately research degrees Professional Master s Business Administration Education Professional Science Master s (relatively new) Others

7 Graduate Enrollment Statistics 2.3 million graduate students 76% enrolled in Master s programs 45% part-time 59% women 16% temporary residents 24% minorities

8 Graduate Enrollment Trends Graduate enrollment increased 3% annually on average between Fall 1998 and Fall 2008 Average annual growth faster for: Women than men 4% vs. 2% Full-time than part-time 4% vs. 2% International than domestic students 5% vs. 3% Minorities than non-minorities Hispanics and African Americans 8% Whites 2%

9 Graduate Enrollment by Broad Field of Study Field All Doctoral Master's Arts & Humanities 7% 12% 6% Business 18% 4% 22% Education 25% 17% 28% Engineering 8% 13% 6% Health Sciences 9% 8% 10% Life Sciences 5% 12% 3% Physical Sciences and Mathematics 7% 15% 5% Social and Behavioral Sciences 9% 15% 7% Other 11% 5% 13%

10 Graduate Enrollment Trends by Broad Field of Study Between 1998 and 2008, graduate enrollment: Increased fastest in health sciences (5% average annual increase), business (4%) and engineering (4%) Smallest increase in humanities & arts (1%) All other broad fields had 2% or 3% gains

11 Graduate Degrees Graduate degrees by level: 90% master s degrees 10% doctorates In 2006, women earned: 60% of all master s degrees 45% of all doctorates

12 Graduate Student Financing In : 73.5% of master s-level students received some type of financial aid 85.9% of doctoral students received financial aid Average amount of financial aid received: $14,386 for master s-level students $23,773 for doctoral students

13 Administration and Organization of Graduate Education in the U.S. Central Administration Dean of the Graduate School Vice President or Vice Provost for Graduate Education (and sometimes Research) Decentralized Administration Deans of the Colleges or Department Chairs (Deans Sally Francis and Rosemary Wander will discuss in more detail later today.)

14 Issues in Graduate Education Competitiveness Demographics Global Interdisciplinary Quality

15 Competitiveness A highly skilled workforce operating at the frontiers of knowledge creation and professional practice is key to America s competitiveness and national security.

16 Demographics Expansion of U.S. citizen participation, particularly from underrepresented minority groups, should be a priority in fields that are essential to our nation s success. Development of STEM careers among domestic students must be a priority.

17 Demographic Transformation in U.S. 23% decline between in Caucasians Growth potential in minority populations Minority graduate school participation gap

18 Global U.S. graduate schools must be able to attract the brightest and best talent globally.

19 Global: The Challenge Trends in International Graduate Applications to U.S. Colleges and Universities, 2004 to % 10% 0% -10% -20% % 11% 8% 3% % -40% -32% Source: Council of Graduate Schools. International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase I: Applications. Various Years

20 Interdisciplinary Interdisciplinary research preparation and education are central to future competitiveness because knowledge creation and innovation frequently occur at the interface of disciplines.

21 Quality Graduate program quality is the driver of American higher education success and efforts to evaluate and improve all aspects of the quality of the U.S. graduate enterprise must be advanced and supported in order to foster innovation.

22 Quality/Reputation/Accreditation Regional Accrediting Bodies- Six in US (Universities) Disciplinary Accrediting Bodies (Disciplines) The National Research Council (Research Doctoral Programs) The US News and World Report (Graduate Programs) Campus Assessment and Review (Universitywide and Program Specific)

23 The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Mission to improve and advance graduate education and research Founded in 1960 Four Regional Associations Elected Board of Directors (Deans) Staff (20)

24 CGS Membership 500+ Institutions in US US Membership Represents ~ 78% of master s degrees awarded ~ 95% of doctoral degrees awarded 20 Institutions in Canada 16 International Affiliate Members

25 CGS Activities Convene Advocate Research Develop and disseminate best practices

26 CGS Meetings Annual Meeting in December ~ 600 attend New Deans Institute and Summer Workshop in July ~ 100 attend new Deans Institute 250 attend Summer Workshop (the limit) Legislative Conference in April Other specialty conferences as needed

27 CGS Advocacy CGS works to ensure that issues of concern to the graduate education community are recognized and addressed in the larger policy environment. CGS provides members with regular updates and analysis of legislative and regulatory proposals and policies that affect graduate education.

28 CGS Research CGS is the leading authoritative source on information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education Conduct an annual national Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees in partnership with the Educational Testing Service Conduct an annual three part survey on international applications, acceptances and enrollment in U.S. Graduate Schools CGS Research contributes to policy papers on issues central to the advancement of graduate education in the U.S. and world wide.

29 CGS Best Practices CGS Best Practices initiatives test solutions to address important issues and offer recommendations to improve the quality of Graduate Education Current CGS Best Practices Initiatives Research Ethics/Scholarly Integrity (Julia Kent) International Collaborations (Julia Kent) Ph.D Completion Master s Completion Professional Science Masters Programs

30 Ph.D. Completion Project Goal - to improve Ph.D. student completion Selected set of institutions Implement new interventions Provide baseline completion and attrition data Focus - underrepresented minorities and women

31 Ph.D. Completion Project Funding provided by Pfizer Inc and the Ford Foundation Phase I ( ) Phase II ( ) 29 Research Partner institutions received grants Additional (~25) Project Partner institutions are currently participating in various aspects of the project (unfunded)

32 Categories of Potential Interventions Selection/Matching Mentoring and Advising Financial Support and Structure Program Environments Research Experiences Curricular and Administrative Processes and Procedures

33 Ten-Year Cumulative Completion Rates by Broad Field Completion Rate (%) Year Engineering Mathematics & Physical Sciences Humanities Life Sciences Social Sciences

34 70 65 Ten-Year Completion Rates: Broad Field and Gender Female Male Completion Rate (%) Engineering Life Sciences Math & Phy. Sci. Social Sciences Humanities All

35 Interventions: Selection and Matching Pre-admission visits to campus. Adapt best practices in recruiting for different disciplines and demographics. Incorporate alumni into program recruitment strategies, in particular women and members of underrepresented groups.

36 Interventions: Mentoring and Advising Require each first year student to have an advisor or advisory structure. Participate in peer-to-peer mentoring programs for new students, especially women and underrepresented groups. Develop a graduate student supervision workshop for new faculty

37 Interventions: Program Environments Initiate a seminar series to address the theme of inclusion and diversity. Women s Leadership Society that links prominent professional and graduate women with current doctoral students. Develop institution-wide policies on family and medical leave for graduate assistants.

38 Interventions: Other Dissertation assistance workshops, Dissertation Boot Camps. Web-based systems for tracking student progress to degree. Study student data from the past ten years to assess patterns of attrition versus short-term enrollment gaps. Inclusion of completion rates and time-to-degree in the program review process.

39 Professional Science Master s (PSM) Degree An innovative degree that: Prepares graduates for science careers in business, government, or non-profit sectors. Combines rigorous study in science or mathematics with workforce skills-based coursework in business, management, policy, communications, law, or other fields - Science Plus!

40 PSM Programs Emphasize the written and verbal communication skills, leadership, and teambuilding required in professional settings. Include project or team experience vs. thesis: real world experience. Provide connections to potential employers through internships. Often include cross disciplinary courses.

41 Program Examples PSM programs are interdisciplinary in fields such as: Biotechnology Forensic Science Financial Mathematics Nanoscience Environmental Science Biosecurity Bioinformatics Analytical Chemistry Applied Systematics Science Entrepreneurship Genetic Counseling

42 Professional Science Master s Degree - Why? Prepares students for careers in less time than a Ph.D. Retains students in science who might not be interested in going on to the Ph.D. Offers more science and math than a MBA and more professional skills than a Ph.D. or traditional master s.

43 PSM Statistics The PSM initiative began in Currently there are: 150 PSM programs 80 institutions ~2,100 graduates as of 2007

44 Win, Win, Win Summary Win for the student alternative way to remain in science without getting a PhD. Win for the university - provide students with another career option and help solve community workforce needs. Win for the employers local, regional, state have a technically trained cadre of workers.

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