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November 21, 2014
Fortifying educational pathways
Today's newsletter focuses on one of our six key customer groups — research-based graduate students. As guided by our strategic plan, we are investing in growing our graduate student population. Although much of our focus is on recruitment and retention, the reality is that we must take the long view if we're going to be successful in this effort over the long term. We must support students and educators at all points along the education continuum, from K to grey, as I call it, if we're going to solve this complex problem.
Speaking earlier this month, I had the opportunity to join distinguished speakers, including former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett and Steve Forbes, chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, at the national Project Lead The Way Summit.
Since Missouri S&T became a Project Lead The Way affiliate in 2006, we have trained nearly 1,500 teachers from more than 30 states to teach in subjects such as biomedical science, engineering and computer science. My presentation focused on the importance of creating an educational pathway beginning at the elementary level that ensures all students with the will and aptitude are encouraged and enabled to succeed.
I'm proud that Missouri S&T is addressing this issue, whether through interactive summer camps, training teachers through Project Lead The Way or through our on-campus degree programs. I'm convinced we must if we're going to grow our graduate programs over the decades to come.
Graduate enrollment on the rise
As outlined in our strategic plan, we intend to keep this trend going and have planned and implemented a number of actions. We are hiring more professors to mentor and support graduate students; improving campus infrastructure; removing barriers to graduation; supporting entrepreneurial applications of research; and providing on-campus professional development activities for graduate students. In addition to growing enrollment, we intend to shape that enrollment, focusing on recruitment of more women and under-represented minorities into our graduate programs.
We believe that strengthening these programs will benefit the university overall as research programs grow and these promising scholars become distinguished alumni of our institution.
You can learn more about our ambitious plan by downloading our strategic plan at strategicplan.mst.edu.
State invests in graduate student growth
The funding will create 70 new Ph.D. research assistant, teaching assistant and fellowship positions, and will increase the number of doctoral students at Missouri S&T. The initiative also provides competitive funding for the equivalent of 350 existing graduate research and teaching assistant positions.
Complementing this effort to recruit more Ph.D. students is funding to provide needed technical and professional staff as well as funding for distinguished faculty leaders for the two signature areas of Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure.
Missouri S&T co-hosted graduate student conference
We are fortunate to have an active Council of Graduate Students. In fact, our council co-hosted the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) with the University of Missouri-Columbia's Graduate Professional Council earlier this month.
Over 150 graduate students from more than 90 NAGPS member institutions gathered for the conference to share practices for aiding students and policy issues that affect graduate students. Missouri S&T was chosen to co-host the conference with MU during the 2013 conference, beating out a joint bid from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona.
Giving them something to talk about
Miner Nation says thanks