Asee peer logo

Facilitating Graduate Students’ Professional Development: Implementation and Evaluation of Learning Activities

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Educating Students for Professional Success

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.626.1 - 25.626.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jiabin Zhu Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Jiabin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in physics from East China Normal University, a M.S. in optics from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a second M.S. in biomedical engineering from Purdue University. Her primary research interests relate to the cognitive development of engineering graduate students, global engineering, professional development, and mentoring of engineering graduate students. She is a student member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

visit author page

author page

Cyndi Lynch Purdue University, West Lafayette

author page

Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

Download Paper |


Facilitating Graduate Students’ Professional Development: Implementation and Evaluation of Learning ActivitiesGraduate students are criticized for their lack of preparation for professional skills, such asteamwork, managerial and leadership skills and lack of training for careers outside of academia(Nerad, 2004). Multiple stakeholders including researchers, educators and administrators, havepointed out the necessity to offer systematic training and professional development opportunitiesto graduate students and prepare them for broader career options within and outside of academia(Nyquist, 2002). In this context, “Preparing Future Professionals”, a graduate-level course, wasdesigned and implemented to facilitate the development of graduate students in their skills, roles,and responsibilities as global citizens and future professionals in business and corporateenvironment. In the process of facilitating graduate students’ professional skills and attributes,the research team developed ten interactive learning activities that centered on the theme ofhelping the transition of graduate students’ roles to future professionals in businesses andindustry. These learning activities cover a variety of critical aspects in the transition to businessand corporate development, such as skills and competencies, career management, organizationtypes and cultures, roles and responsibilities, and balancing career and personal life.These interactive learning activities include, Cultivating Your Professional Identity; CARS(Context, Action, Result, Skills) Impact Statements; Developing Networking Narratives;Creating a Networking Map; Job Description Analysis; Developing Job Search Strategies; Self-Assessment; Institutional Profile; Individual Development Plan and Career Strategic Plan. Theimplementation of these activities aims at addressing the different aspects of graduate students’professional development. These activities have been piloted among 34 graduate students. Thispaper provides an overview of the design and implementation of these learning activities and theanalysis of students’ deliverables in the evaluation of students’ learning outcomes.Nerad, M. (2004). The Ph.D. in the U.S.: Criticisms, facts, and remedies. Higher EducationPolicy, 17, 2, 183-199.Nyquist, J.D. (2002). A tapestry of change for the 21st century, Change, 34(6): 12-21

Zhu, J., & Lynch, C., & Cox, M. F. (2012, June), Facilitating Graduate Students’ Professional Development: Implementation and Evaluation of Learning Activities Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21383

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015