How to Effectively Recruit Graduate Students

Universities spend significant time and resources in recruiting undergraduate students. Unfortunately, graduate recruiting efforts frequently fall victim to ineffective and inefficient practices. As a faculty member and program director of various higher education graduate programs, I have spent much of my career recruiting masters and doctoral students. I have often been frustrated by the lack of attention, planning, and the lack of expertise in how institutions recruit graduate students. In today’s post, I will share the common causes of graduate recruiting problems and discuss how to effectively recruit graduate students.

Photo credit: Martyn Wright

While undergraduate recruiting often differs substantially by the type of institution, graduate recruiting suffers from many of the same problems across all institutions. Obviously some institutions have more money to throw at the problem or can rely on rankings differently, but few institutions do a strong job with graduate recruiting.

What are trigger warnings and why all the fuss?

Since the University of Chicago sent a letter to all incoming students informing them that they wouldn’t receive trigger warnings, the concept has been debated within and outside of higher education. In fact, it has probably been debated more than many higher education problems that are far more prevalent. In today’s post, I will answer the question: What are trigger warnings and why all the fuss?

what are trigger warnings

Photo credit: Jason Eppink

When I teach the History of Higher Education, I have the students read the Charter and Statutes of William and Mary. The text is dense with hard to understand language. Before I have them read it, I warn them that largely because of the language that it will probably be the hardest thing that we will read in class. I also tell them it is pretty dry, but there are some key themes that I want them to gather.

So is this a trigger warning?

Plight of graduate students: Labor Day edition

In 1894, Congress passed legislation making the first Monday in September a holiday celebrating the social and economic achievements of the American workforce. Each Labor Day, I celebrate by describing an aspect of academic work in American higher education. Previously, I’ve examined adjunct professors and tenure. In this year’s edition, I consider the plight of graduate students. The National Labor Relations Board has declared that graduate students are employees with a right to unionize. This post will describe the plight of graduate students by considering the implications of the 3-1 NLRB ruling in the case from Columbia University which gives graduate students employment rights.

Photo credit: GWC-UAW

The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-2 in 2004 that research and teaching assistants at Brown University did not have the right to unionize. The board ruled that graduate students were primarily students and not workers. As a result, graduate students did not have the right the negotiate conditions of employment, wages, and benefits.

The Columbia ruling overturns the Brown precedent.