Grad students, are you satisfied with your program?

Next month, Western will launch the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS), a survey designed to provide universities with information regarding the quality of their graduate programs as assessed by their own graduate students. Western has participated in each administration of the survey, starting with the pilot project back in 2005.

The CGPSS Survey is the largest survey of its kind on Canada. For 2016, graduate students at approximately 50 universities across Canada will take part.

“Graduate students have an invaluable opportunity to have their say, give their input, and make a difference to enhance the quality of their programs and the quality of the graduate student experience at Western,” said Linda Miller, Vice-Provost, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “We receive anonymized responses from students in all of our graduate programs, and we also receive summaries at the provincial and national level for comparison.”

The CGPSS Survey will officially launch March 2 and run for the entire month. Graduate students will receive an email, and subsequent reminders, to complete the online, 20-minute survey administered by Mosaic Research Solutions.

It’s important for all students to know that the email they will receive is not spam – in fact, their responses are used to measure satisfaction with our programs and services so we can understand what we are doing well and address areas for improvement, Miller stressed.

The survey will ask graduate students to evaluate the overall quality of their student experience including questions on coursework, the availability of financial support, university services, student life, support from faculty members and overall satisfaction with their program.

This is an opportunity for students to tell the university what the institution is doing right and where it can improve, Miller said. The results allow the university to evaluate the graduate student experience across campus and also see how the graduate student experience at Western compares to the average in Ontario and across Canada.

If you are a new student, your impressions and feedback are just as important as those of a student who has been at Western for several years, Miller said. Likewise, if you have been studying here for many years, and are close to graduation, your responses will help improve the graduate program experience for incoming students. For students in professional programs, it’s important for us to know how, and where, to make improvements.

As an added incentive, the three graduate programs with the highest response rate will be given funds to support their students’ travel costs to attend conferences, workshops or other academic events.