32,000 graduate students grade their doctoral programs, poor report cards in career guidance and preparation for teaching

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Tables were turned this week as 32,000 graduate students and recent Ph.D.'s graded doctoral programs in a groundbreaking online survey conducted by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). Students graded their doctoral programs' implementation of educational practices recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, the Association of American Universities, and other educational leaders. Report cards for more than 1300 doctoral programs, generated from the survey results, are available online at http://survey.nagps.org/.

"Graduate students often report feeling overwhelmed by the process of higher education and helpless to change things," said NAGPS President Kimberly Suedkamp Wells, one of the survey authors and a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "Our survey is important because it provides students with the opportunity to feel like they can actually make a difference in their educational experience."

Students are most satisfied in doctoral programs where they have the freedom to pursue a broad range of career options, to make informed choices about their own education, and to have those choices respected. While 81% of students reported satisfaction with their programs overall, only 45% are satisfied with their preparation for teaching and 38% with career services. According to Adam Fagen, survey author and a doctoral student at Harvard University, "even programs that excel at research may get an incomplete when it comes to preparing students for non-research aspects of their careers."

"It's a real problem when Ph.D.'s can't function outside the university," said survey author Geoff Davis, a Dartmouth math professor turned software developer. "Getting science and engineering Ph.D.'s into industry is the best way to get new research and ideas out of the lab and into the world." While 89% of survey respondents believed their d

Contact: Kimberly Suedkamp Wells
National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS)

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