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#IsGradSchool4Me. Presented by Texas Iota Chapter Texas State University Alpha Chi National Convention 2014. Session Overview. How can Alpha Chi Chapters help their members answer #IsGradSchool4Me Examples from Texas Iota Chapter Suggestions from students ’ perspective

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Presented by Texas Iota Chapter

Texas State University

Alpha Chi National Convention


session overview
Session Overview
  • How can Alpha Chi Chapters help their members answer #IsGradSchool4Me
  • Examples from Texas Iota Chapter
  • Suggestions from students’ perspective
  • Survey of other Chapters
  • Group brainstorming session
  • Wrap-up
are your members thinking about graduate school
Are Your Members Thinking About Graduate School

Are they asking:

  • Why would I attend?
  • How does graduate school differ from my undergraduate education?
  • How do I choose a program?
  • How do I apply?
  • How do I finance my education?
  • Will there be a return on my investment?
how can alpha chi chapters help
How Can Alpha Chi Chapters Help
  • Texas Iota hosts annual scholarly events
    • Small-scale
    • Large-scale
  • Send email invitation to undergraduate students
    • Alpha Chi members
    • Juniors & seniors with 3.0 or higher GPA
    • Honors College students
    • All undergraduates
  • Campus newspaper advertisement
  • Fliers
is graduate school the next step
Is Graduate School the Next Step
  • Reasons to attend:
    • Increased earning power
    • Gain qualifications for employment
    • Desire to expand knowledge
    • Contributions in research
    • Love of the subject
    • Personal achievement
selecting a graduate program
Selecting a Graduate Program
  • Identify your goals then find the right graduate school for you
    • Know what you want to study
    • Discuss programs with current faculty and peers
    • Search the web
  • Ask yourself
    • Does it fit my goals?
    • Do I think I will be accepted?
    • Relocation – am I willing?
    • Cost – can I afford it?
application process
Application Process
  • Determine what is required for application
    • Transcripts (GPA)
    • GRE scores
    • Personal statement
    • CV
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Commitment from faculty member to serve as research advisor
  • Determine all deadlines
    • application, scholarships, financial aid, request for assistantship
  • Make application competitive
  • Submit application materials
  • Follow-up
now that you ve been accepted
Now That You’ve Been Accepted
  • Evaluate the offer
    • Financial support and benefits
      • Type of assistantship and time commitment for employment
      • Scholarships
    • Tuition
      • Out-of-state tuition
    • Cost of living
financing graduate education
Financing Graduate Education
  • Master’s students:
    • 44% student loans
    • 26% employer support
    • 18% assistantship/fellowship
      • Average $7,600
  • Ph.D. students:
    • 32% student loans
    • 77% assistantship/fellowship
      • Average $11,600

National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2008

trends in financial debt
Trends in Financial Debt
  • Students with No Debt at Graduation:
    • 42% Master’s and 45% Ph.D.
  • Students with Debt at Graduation:
    • Master’s students:
      • $40,208 average total debt
    • Ph.D. students:
      • $58,967 average total debt

National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2008

return on investment
Return on Investment
  • Job Market Projections
    • 22% increase in jobs requiring Master’s degree
    • 20% increase in jobs requiring Ph.D. degree
  • Earning Power
    • Increases in lifetime earnings:
      • For those with Master’s degrees
        • 18% increase over a bachelor’s degree
      • For those with Ph.D. degrees
        • 43% increase over a bachelor’s degree

Council of Graduate Schools, 2012.

The College Payoff: Education, Occupation, Lifetime Earnings. A.P. Carnevale, et al. 2011.

return on investment1
Return on Investment
  • GradSense website (
  • Compares median debt accrued by people pursuing specific degrees & median salaries earned by people in professions with those degrees
  • Ph.D. in biological sciences and working as a postsecondary teacher (life sciences field)
    • Median debt = $35,114
    • Median annual salary = $80,250
  • Ph.D. in arts and humanities and working as a postsecondary teacher (non-STEM field)
    • Median debt = $60,000
    • Median annual salary = $63,130
what s it really like
What’s It Really Like?
  • Hear from “real” graduate students
minds matter exploring mental health and illness
Minds Matter: Exploring Mental Health and Illness
  • Cultivates a common intellectual conversation across the campus
  • Enhances student participation in the intellectual life of the campus
  • Fosters a sense of community across our entire campus and extended community
where can your mind take you
Where Can Your Mind Take You?
  • Received a mini-grant of $400 for event
  • Provided opportunity to learn about graduate programs in mental health
  • 80 undergraduates attended
graduate programs event
Graduate Programs Event
  • Panel discussion by graduate faculty
graduate programs represented
Graduate Programs Represented
  • College of Applied Arts
    • Criminal Justice
    • Family & Child Studies
    • Social Work
  • College of Education
    • Recreation & Leisure Services–Therapeutic Recreation
    • Professional Counseling
    • School Psychology
    • Special Education
  • College of Liberal Arts
    • Applied Sociology and Sociology
    • Psychological Research
graduate programs event1
Graduate Programs Event
  • Social to meet faculty and graduate students
graduate programs event2
Graduate Programs Event
  • Door prizes given away
undergraduate poll topics of interest
Undergraduate PollTopics of Interest
  • Applying for graduate school (n=21)
  • Applying for scholarships/funding grad school (n=11)
  • What’s grad school like (classes, writing, research, how to transition) (n=11)
  • Preparing for the GRE (n=9)
  • Selecting the program with the best fit (n=4)
  • Time management & life balance (n=4)
  • Mentoring programs (n=2)
undergraduate poll events of interest
Undergraduate PollEvents of Interest
  • Socials to meet graduate faculty & graduate students (n=6)
  • Meet alumni to learn about experiences on the job (n=1)
  • Meet employers in the field (n=1)
  • Job fairs (n=1)
  • Panel for Q&A (n=1)
  • Presentations in upper division classes (n=1)
  • Sessions targeting freshman to become aware earlier (n=1)
survey of chapters
Survey of Chapters
  • Sent survey to 327 Chapter Sponsors
  • Survey consisted of five program questions
  • Identified Region and whether the institution was public or private
chapter survey results
Chapter Survey Results
  • Sent survey to 327 Chapter Sponsors
    • 39 responded (12% response rate)
    • Flaw in survey may have prevented some responses
  • Identified Region and whether the institution was public or private
    • I (4); II (3); III (15); IV (6); V (3); VI (3); VII (3)
    • 32 Private
    • 7 Public
Does your Alpha Chi Chapter currently offer  any programs for undergraduate students interested in attending graduate school?
If you do offer programs, what is the approximate number of undergraduates that typically attend a program?
If you do offer programs, do you partner with any of the following offices on campus to help with the program?If you do offer programs, do you partner with any of the following offices on campus to help with the program?
if your chapter does offer programs please indicate the topics you cover
If your chapter does offer programs, please indicate the topics you coverIf your chapter does offer programs, please indicate the topics you cover
group brainstorming session
Group Brainstorming Session
  • What kinds of activities does your Chapter currently offer to prepare undergraduates for graduate school?
  • What ideas for new programs have you developed by attending this session?
  • What partnerships might you form on your campus to assist in offering programs?
  • What partnerships might you form with nearby campuses to assist in offering programs?
  • How might you seek funding for programs?