GRADUATE EDUCATION RESEARCH SCHEMA
Illinois Graduate Education Research: Building Foundations for Policies, Practices, and Services That Foster Student Success
In 2011, the Graduate College created a research unit to advance the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's commitment to improving graduate education through research. We announce here a Graduate College initiative to frame a research agenda to address inequities in the campus educational environment. The ultimate goal of the proposed research is to use findings to improve graduate education by creating new opportunities and enhancing the ability to operate with equity-mindedness in all regards. These larger goals go beyond increasing access, inclusion, retention, and completion to tackle the underlying thoughts and behaviors that have led to social bias. This effort is in line with national and global interests aimed at creating evidence-based analysis to improve the environments in which we offer advanced training. Both traditional structures and the impacts of recent innovations and globalization are important aspects of graduate education but can carry unexamined assumptions that perpetuate or enhance existing inequities. Research into elements within the contemporary educational environment that may support inequality is crucial for generating the knowledge needed to make strategic changes in existing trends and to shape the direction of the future of graduate education. Research outcomes will be applied to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and practices to improve graduate students’ transitions into their programs and their overall educational experiences and outcomes.
Primary Research Objectives:
- To expand the opportunities of and increase the likelihood that talented students will gain access to and complete graduate degrees especially individuals who have been historically underrepresented.
- To provide quality academic, professional, and social education and experiences.
- To impact graduates’ employability and contributions to humanity by increasing their intellectual, cultural, social, and economic capital through education.
Major Research Questions:
- What underlying factors contribute to graduate education excellence?
- How can these factors be manipulated for continuous improvement?