PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

UMBC Will Participate in a Pilot for the Council of Graduate Schools

In Council of Graduate Schools on April 1, 2011 at 6:36 PM

The Council of Graduate Schools is seeking master’s students in the following programs to participate in 1 hour-long focus group project on April 26:

  • Biology and biological sciences
  • Computer Science and IT
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology

“Completion and Attrition in STEM Master’s Programs”

A Pilot for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County


The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has launched a pilot project, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to examine completion and attrition in STEM master’s programs. This study will focus on programs in biological and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences, mathematical sciences, psychology, and business administration (to serve as a comparison to the STEM programs) from five institutions selected on the basis of a national competition.

The pilot test will include:

  • One hour-long focus group interview with 5-6 first-year master’s students in any of the five fields listed above
  • One hour-long focus group interview with 5-6 master’s students in any of the five fields listed above who have been enrolled for more than one year (ideally those who are close to graduating from the program)
  • One hour with 4 master’s students (2 first-year students and 2 graduating students) who would be willing to take the draft student survey and then discuss their perceptions and experience with us.


Incentive: If you participate you will be able to include a special statement on your resume or CV, signifying your participation in this national project by the Council of Graduate Schools.


(a) Your participation is important to the larger study, which is focused on ways in which institutions can help support and improve master’s education. Participating in the pilot test will allow the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to evaluate the content and effectiveness of data collection instruments to be used in the larger study


(b) The CGS will ask for your informed consent before proceeding with pilot testing.  Your participation is voluntary, you may choose not to answer specific questions, and your responses will only be used to revise the surveys and protocols (not to issue in a report or publication)


(c) Other than other students, nobody else from the institution will be present (faculty, administrators, and other staff will not be in attendance)



Time: A 1 hour slot between 11AM and 5PM. Those who register will be notified.  Please register by clicking the “I can attend” button on the MyUMBC website for this study:

Room: Commons 332

Food: Refreshments will be served


The University of Maryland College Park will also participate in the pilot. UMCP’s students should contact their Graduate Program Directors for more information.