Revised policy aims to support graduate student progress

Revised policy aims to support graduate student progress

March 15, 2013


The Graduate Studies Executive Council (GSEC) has revised the policy on time-to-completion for graduate students.

“Institutionally, we are committed to fostering a culture that encourages timely completion and excellence,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “To succeed, we need policies that are consistent with these goals.”

The new policy states that master’s students must apply for an extension before the end of term 7, and PhD students must do so before the end of term 13. Initial one year extensions will be granted by the department; subsequent extensions may be granted by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

A motion to update the policy on the extension process was tabled until the April GSEC meeting.

The policy change will not affect Master’s and doctoral students currently enrolled at Queen’s; those students will fall under the policy in existence when they started their programs.

Last year, the SGS introduced mandatory annual progress reports for graduate students, which encourage conversation between student and supervisor about accomplishments to date and any issues or problems that have arisen, as well as establish goals and objectives for the coming year.

“We realize there can be many reasons why completion of a degree might take longer, which is why extensions are available. It is important, however, that the student and supervisor discuss the scope of the research, monitor progress and lay out a path and timelines to completion with identified milestones – this is best practice,” says Dr. Brouwer.

The School of Graduate Studies has also introduced a number of support services to better help students complete their degree, including Expanding Horizons workshops and Dissertation Boot Camp. It will also increase its work with departments in recognition of the critical role that supervisors play in guiding and mentoring their students.