GRADUATE STUDENTS AND
THE FIVE YEAR GOAL
Stony Brook will provide excellent graduate education and postdoctoral programs in a supportive environment. Many graduate students and post-graduates come to Stony Brook from elsewhere and find it difficult to integrate into University life. In order to attract and retain people of the highest quality, the University will provide first-rate academic programs, competitive stipends, and good working and living conditions. Strong orientation and training programs will improve graduate students’ experience and increase their success.
Implement the plan to increase graduate student stipends. (2.1, Provost, Dean of the Graduate School)
Beginning in 2000-01, Stony Brook invested an additional $900,000 annually in recruitment stipends to make these more competitive. This investment provided increases of $2,000 to $3,000 for one year to students in science programs and $2,500 for three years to selected applicants in the humanities and social sciences.
Increase by 20 percent the number of graduate fellowships funded from federal and foundation sources. (2.1, Provost, Dean of the Graduate School)
In 1999-2000 83 graduate fellowships were funded from federal and foundation sources. The number grew to 128 in 2003-04 but dropped to 96 in 2004-05, for a final increase of 16 percent. More than 80 percent of these fellowships are funded by institutional graduate training awards from the NIH, the NSF, and the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). Stony Brook has also received DoE Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GANN) awards. Competition has increased for these resources, especially for the GANN awards, which has restricted the growth of federally funded fellowships. The Graduate School Web site includes information about graduate fellowship opportunities to assist students seeking individual awards.
Increase the number of graduate fellowships funded by endowments and other private contributions. Explore the possibility of coupling some of these fellowships with internship opportunities at local businesses, arts centers, and government agencies. (2.1, Vice President for Advancement, Dean of the Graduate School)
Many graduate students receive support in conjunction with local industry via the SPIR (Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence) program. Currently few graduate fellowships are funded by endowments and other private contributions, but they are a priority in the $300 million Capital Campaign announced in June 2005.
Establish mechanisms to monitor and smooth students’ progress through graduate degree programs. Increase student advising and provide remediation where needed to facilitate student success. (2.2, Dean of the Graduate School; Provost; Vice President, Health Sciences Center)
The Graduate Council strengthened the annual academic evaluation of all graduate students by requiring graduate program directors to notify all students in writing that they are making good progress or, if they are not, of the remedies and potential consequences. The Graduate School began closer monitoring of matriculation time limits to prevent the needless prolongation of students’ careers, and the procedures on academic probation were revised to improve students’ ability to remedy GPA deficiencies.
The Turner Fellowship program and the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) provide an array of support services to increase student success. Three Stony Brook doctoral programs—Chemistry, History, and Mathematics—are participating in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate project that seeks to better understand and improve students’ educational experiences in doctoral programs. The health sciences professional programs promote student success by providing students with faculty advisors, encouraging mentoring, assigning committees to monitor student progress and resolve problems, and arranging for outstanding students to tutor those needing assistance.
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