Graduate School - New Student Orientation

Uploaded by KState on 23.08.2011

Hello, Iím Carol Shanklin, the Dean of the Graduate School at Kansas State University.
Welcome as a distance student to Kansas State University. I wish you well as you begin to
pursue your degree, or your graduate certificate program, or simply, taking courses to enhance
your professional competence.
All of you are graduate students at Kansas State University. Depending on the classification,
youíre degree-seeking, meaning youíre pursuing a Graduate degree by distance, or selected
courses that youíre taking at K-State to blend with on-campus courses, a graduate certificate
program, or simply taking courses as a non-degree as youíre awaiting formal admission to the
Graduate School. Regardless, you are all students of the Graduate School.
Todayís presentation is just a brief overview of some important facts and information that
the Graduate School administrators believe will help you be successful as you begin your
graduate courses at K-State.
Let me introduce you to some of the key leaders of the graduate school who are here to also
facilitate your success.
This is Dr. James Guikema. Jim is Associate Vice President of Research and Associate Dean
of Graduate School. Jim is our linkage between the research enterprise and the graduate school
and carries out other responsibilities and student related services for the graduate
school. Adjacent to Jim is myself, Carol Shanklin,
the Dean of the Graduate School. As Dean of the Graduate School I have oversight for all
the graduate programs at the university and the student services that we provide all of
our graduate students.
Adjacent to me is Miss Shannon Fox. Shannon is the Deanís Administrative Assistant. Should
you need to reach me to ask questions but are not sure who to best contact, or you just
want to make an introduction, you can contact Shannon and her number is 785-532-6191. That
is the same number you will be using to contact staff as well as you progress in your program.
Adjacent to Shannon is Scott Schlender. Scott is the Assistant to the Deans of the Graduate
School. Scottís role is to help with the facilitation of student admissions. He works
with our admissions advisors and specialist and he also works with students in resolving
enrollment concerns that you may have. And if you have questions about iSIS, Scott can
direct you to the appropriate help site.
All of us are here to be of assistance to you, along with individuals in your support
system, which I will now describe to you.
First let me talk about, ëWhat is the role of the Graduate School at Kansas State University?í
And, ëWhat is that relationship between the graduate school and the academic program to
which you have been admitted, whether degree or certificate?î
The role of the Graduate school is the oversight of all graduate programs. Each of you were
admitted as a degree-seeking or non-degree certificate student to Kansas State based
upon recommendations of your graduate program. Once you are admitted, then we have the responsibility
of monitoring your success until you complete your degree at Kansas State University or
receive your certificate. So we try to facilitate by working collaboratively with your graduate
program, your major professor/academic advisor throughout the program. And also, are responsible
for monitoring whether or not you are meeting the academic standards set forth by the graduate
council. So weíre sort of the overall graduate college that you belong to and we work in
collaboration with your specific academic department.
Now let me introduce you to some other key individuals in the graduate school that will
be actually working probably more closely with you and your advisor and grad program
This is Miss Laura Johnson. Should you call the graduate school with questions or needing
to know ìHow do I get enrolled?î, or ìIím having problems with this,î Lauraís usually
the individual that answers the phone. She also, if youíre in the graduate certificate,
processes the certificate once you have completed the degree requirements. So Lauraís the one
that answers the phone and assists you in getting you linked to the right person.
Amanda Umscheid is an administrative assistant in the graduate school and she, again, is
another contact should Shannon not be available.
For those of you who are in Professional masterís programs, thatís just the Masters of Agribusiness,
Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Public Health, for those professional programs,
Dawn is the individual that you will want to contact as you work with the questions
that you may have.
The next two individuals, Delores and Teresa, are the individuals who actually process the
admissions recommendations from the graduate programs.
Those of you who are doctoral students, Mrs. Angie Pfizenmaier is a very important individual
you want to get to know. Or if youíre going to be submitting a thesis or report, Angie
accepts those on behalf of the graduate school. For all other Masters degree programs, Ms.
Lori Grelk is the person you will be contacting should you have questions about your program
of study or you receive an email saying that you need to verify the completion of a specific
So these are the key team members in the graduate school you will work with as you finish your
program or as you move through those programs.
So what are some of the key facts and things that you need to know to be successful as
a Graduate student at Kansas State University? First letís talk about who are your support
system that you can depend on. Within each graduate program, there is a graduate program
director. And many of you have already been engaged in communication/correspondence with
this individual. But that person is the one that works with the graduate faculty/graduate
admissions committee in determining studentsí eligibility for admissions to a degree or
certificate program. So that individual is someone that you would want to work very closely
with as you have questions or youíre not sure who you need to contact for a permission
for a specific course.
Each of the programs also has a support person who can answer questions when the program
director advisorís not available. And that individual, youíll want to find out their
name and contact information so they can help you as well throughout the process.
Each of you have been assigned an advisor and at the point that you submit your program
of study for the degree-seeking students, then you will have a major professor whose
role then is your advisor and mentor throughout the rest of your graduate program.
Each program has a department head, unless itís an interdisciplinary program such as
the Masters of Public Health. And then that program reports to the Graduate school, so
that will be a contact in addition to the graduate program.
Students seeking a degree will have a supervisory committee. For Mastersí students thatís
composed of three faculty members who have graduate faculty status at Kansas State University.
One of those individuals will serve as your major professor, and thus is from the field
of study that youíre getting your major in. And then there are two other individuals,
again, who must be graduate faculty; one within your program, and the other can be outside
of your program.
And then another very important contact/person to get to know based upon the college that
youíre enrolling in through DCE is the Division of Continuing Education program coordinator.
These individuals can answer your questions and again help link you with the correct individual
within your academic program that you need to contact to get enrolled or to make sure
that youíre taking the appropriate courses and as you approach graduation making sure
all the documents that are needed have been completed.
Beyond the immediate graduate departmental individuals that are important and the coordinator
of the division of continuing education, you will have peers in each of your classes. I
encourage you to create a network among those graduate students through your chat room opportunities,
through emails, so that you can learn more from each other in the courses that youíre
taking, but also maybe just a network about professional opportunities and what youíre
doing within your career. So use your colleagues within your classes, within your graduate
program by distance, as a support system for you.
Another group is the graduate student council. As a graduate student at Kansas State University,
youíre automatically a part of the graduate council. The graduate council represents the
needs of the graduate students through the graduate faculty senators to address issues
of interest broadly to students at Kansas State.
Then we have a whole series of officers that do a variety of different activities. The
one that youíll probably link most with would be the things that would be related to professional
development that we provide online to graduate students by distance or those on campus that
cannot attend.
And then we have different campus resources that are available to students. The Wildcat
Personal Finance office is available to visit with you if you have questions about your
personal finance, financing your graduate degree, as far as how do you manage your money.
Or if youíre trying to look at how to defer student loans, that group is available for
Skype discussion, you can just email them and they will assist you.
Of course you will be using the online library resources where there are individuals that
are available to you. Again, we want to make sure that you are being successful even though
you may not be face to face here on campus. Your faculty are also very important resources
on campus.
Now letís move to more of the important things related specifically to being a graduate student.
This is the home page thatís being updated for the Graduate School. All the key information,
guidelines, and forms that you need are available on the graduate school website.
The Graduate School Forms and Guidelines: that section includes all the forms that you
need. One of the most important ones for those of you who are in degree programs is a program
of study. All graduate students need to submit a program of study after completing nine graduate
hours. The program of study is an agreement between you and your supervisory committee
and graduate programs that if you complete this series of courses, then you can obtain
your Masters degree from Kansas State University, assuming that a few other rules and policies
are in place (and Iíll share those with you, as well).
On the graduate school website there is a graduate handbook. And for the Masters student,
chapter 2 relates specifically to you. There are guidelines about how to make your composition
for supervisory committee transfer courses. Those guidelines are there to facilitate that.
In addition you have your academic advisor and major professor who can answer those questions
as well. But this is the official policy for all graduate
students at Kansas State University. For those pursuing a graduate certificate program, Chapter
4 relates to the requirements for graduate certificate programs.
Another important resource that you might want to check out on the Graduate School website
is the electronic thesis dissertation report template. You do not have to be completing
a thesis or report to use this important tool. It will facilitate preparation of papers that
you will be submitted as part of assignments for classes. Within the template, it actually
creates for you your table of contents, list of tables, and automatically inserts page
numbers. So we encourage you to use this tool, it will save you lots and lots of time as
you take graduate courses because if youíve ever created a paper without that you know
how many times that you make editorial changes and each time you do a table moves, a page
number changes, where you might locate a text. So this is designed for those who are doing
theses and reports will be using that for their final documents. But we encourage all
graduate students to use this. On the website as you go to the template and guidelines,
there are actually tutorials for different components of how to use the template. We
also do on-campus workshops for students that we will try to capture so theyíll be available
for you to use, as well.
If you have already enrolled in your courses for this semester, youíve already used iSIS.
ISIS is a student information system that you use to enroll in classes, drop/add classes,
it also tells you if there are any holds on your account that would prevent you from enrolling.
If there is to-do lists, for instance if you are a new graduate and we have not received
your final transcript, that will be listed on your to-do list. So once you submit that
final transcript showing your degree completion from your Bachelorís, that item on your checklist
will be removed. Financial aid and other offices may put items in what you need to be doing
in linking with them. But if you click on each item thatís on the to-do list there
will be a detailed link to that that tells you who to contact. The holds are important
because they have to be cleared before you can enroll the next semester, before you can
actually get your final transcript, your diploma, or your certificate. So itís important to
pay attention to those.
Other information on iSIS that you will find useful is under the ëOther Academicí tab,
when you pull down, that thereís a list of items. The first one is Academic History.
This will provide you a list of all the classes youíve taken at Kansas State University and
the grades youíve completed. So itís sort of a history of all the courses. If youíre
a new student, the courses that youíre currently enrolled in this semester will appear there
now. But at the end of the semester, once grades are listed, then they will appear on
The next item on that list is called ëCommittee and Milestones.í This is a unique feature
just for the graduate students. Once you submit a program of study, it will identify for you
who your supervisory committee members are, and then the tab ëMilestonesí will help
you progress through your program. Once the program of studyís there, itís going to
say ìProgram of study approvedî and the date. Your approval form, when youíve passed
your examinations, when youíve submitted your thesis or report, if thatís applicable
to you, all show there. And then if you do a thesis or report, that title is there. So
you can have this as a record of monitoring your success through the program, but it will
also be accessible once you graduate from Kansas State University.
Thereís a DARs report that once you have your program of study, you can track your
progress towards your degree. So all of these tools are available; the first three on the
graduate school website. Iíd encourage you to go there, and look at each of those, and
use those for your benefit as you progress.
iSIS is something you will use once you get your eID. And youíre going to be using that,
again, to enroll. When you look at your class schedule it has some very important information.
Pay attention to the deadlines for dropping a course for 100% refund, or 50%, or whatís
the very last date. That information can blink there and it is very important if you determine
that you cannot complete all the courses that youíre enrolled in this semester.
What are some other information? On the Grad School website we also have a Timeline Checklist.
Itís sort of steps that you do in order to successfully complete your program. Thereís
one for those of you who are doing ëAll Courseworkí options. Thereís one available for Thesis
and Reports. So you can link to those, and again, itís those highlighted steps you go
through to successfully complete your degree.
Many of your graduate programs have graduate orientations and handbooks that are available
online. Just like the graduate handbook, those are guidelines that apply to all graduate
students in that program. Youíre encouraged to review those, ask your graduate program
director/advisor if you have questions about a specific requirement in the program that
youíre completing.
Each of you, once youíre enrolled and get to the tenth day of the semester, we will
enroll in you K-State Online. Just like youíre enrolled in K-State online for your academic
courses, thereís one called ëGraduate Student Resource Centerí and this is where we post
Continuing Education professional development workshops, there are handouts and things,
so that even though youíre not on campus, you can benefit from learning what the speakers
have to say for you. Thereís seminars and workshops and meetings that you will be alerted
to, and when available, I encourage you to participate in these activities.
As a graduate student, it is very important for you to check your K-State email address.
I know many of you may want to forward that to another email, but I encourage you to seriously
consider maintaining two email accounts. One; your K-state email, because that is the email
account that your program will be communicating with you, once, if there are problems with
your program of study or as we review your approval form, if thereís something we need
to alert you to, we send emails to you on your K-State email. So itís very important
to check those on a regular basis.
General information about activities and things are there posted. If it doesnít apply to
you, you can just delete it, but please check your K-State email on a regular basis, especially
the semester that you plan to graduate because there are a lot of important communications
that come from your program and from the graduate school that last semester.
K-State Online has some excellent resources available to you and how you can link to K-State
Libraries and get articles and materials that are in our library alone. Thereís tutorials
that are available, I encourage you to use those.
Earlier I talked about networking with students who are in your class. Also network at professional
meetings. Take advantage of that, even though youíre completing your program by distance,
seek opportunity to present what youíre doing in your graduate program (your research, your
report) within your professional field and then network with those individuals there
because they may be your link to your next career or your next position within your career.
Seek opportunity for professional development. Again, we will be posting information from
the professional development programs that we have on campus. I plan to present with
the staff other short videos about preparing a program of study, graduation deadlines and
things so that we can have these available to all students, but especially those students
who are not available to join us face-to-face on campus.
Probably the greatest challenge that youíre going to face in addition to the academic
rigor of the program that youíre in, is time management: balancing time between your work
responsibilities, your personal responsibilities, and that of successfully completing your graduate
programs. All of our graduate students find this as one of the most challenging things
that they do. And each of you have to determine what approach works for you: blocking time
out to focus in on this, work to make sure that you know the deadlines when papers are
due, when exams are being given, and pay close attention to this and work with your advisor
and your course instructor to make sure you understand the expectations and requirements
of a graduate student.
Some important facts that are important for all graduate students: Those of you who have
been officially admitted to the graduate program, you were admitted on one of three conditions.
Regular admissions; your graduate admissions letter just says ëWelcome to Kansas State
University, you have been admitted to this specific graduate program,í and thereís
no condition, that means you can just progress through your program as you have planned.
Probationary admission is one that you need to pay close attention to. That means that
your grade-point average did not meet 3.0 for your last 60 hours. So it is very, very
critical that you focus in on your academic work because you must have a 3.0 after completing
nine hours of graduate work. Otherwise, you are eligible for dismissal at that point from
the graduate school and from your graduate program. If you have less than a 3.0, the
graduate school will contact your academic program and ask for a recommendation. Should
you be allowed to continue on probation, and if so, we ask them to work with you to create
a specific academic plan. So if your letter says that you are admitted on probation, itís
very, very important that you know that youíve got to have a 3.0. And in some of your letters
they may have, specified as a program, a specific grade in those first three courses that you
took and also specific courses to take. Dismissal again, is if you have been admitted on probation
and do not make 3.0 when you are finishing those degrees. You can also be dismissed if
at any point in your career, you drop below a 3.0, you are placed on probation. That is
your continuous status, not in admissions, but your academic status. Again, you will
have up to nine hours to go off of academic probation with a 3.0. The same conditions
apply as I previously described.
In graduate school, you have opportunity to retake two graduate courses, if approved by
your supervisory committee, and those courses are on your program of study. That retake
form must be submitted the semester in which you are retaking the course for a grade replacement.
Of course, you can retake a course for more than two for purposes of retaking the course,
but only two graduate courses can be taken for replacing the original grade. And the
replacement grade, the grade you make the second time on a retake is what stays in your
academic record.
There are two minimum grade point averages you need to be aware of. To maintain good
academic status at Kansas State University, you need a 3.0 grade-point average on all
graduate courses that you are taking. The second grade point average that you need to
be aware of is all the courses on your approved program of study must have an average grade
of 3.0 in order for you to graduate. So at the point that you submit your approval form
to graduate if you are a degree-seeking student, your staff liaison in the graduate school
will check to make sure that you have a 3.0 in both of those. If for some reason you do
not, they will send you an email saying, ìThis problem needs to be resolved before you can
I previously mentioned the importance of the admission of a program of study. I just want
to reiterate that, because itís important that you submit that after nine hours because
this is your road map that you will be taking. It tells you what your program expects you
to complete and by doing these things you should be able to do that.
Should another course come along that your advisor and supervisory committee says, ìWell
this is really better for you. We didnít have it previously, now we have it.î You
can substitute that class by completing a change of program form. So itís one that
is a road map for you.
I mentioned the ETDR, I encourage you to use that because it is a tool that will save you
a lot of time and money.
For those of you who have been admitted as a non-degree student, I want to caution you
that that status is up to nine hours that you can take as a non-degree. The third course
youíre taking, you need to have submitted an application for a specific graduate degree,
if you wish to continue in a graduate degree program. It is up to your supervisory committee
to accept those nine hours you have taken. But by working with your advisor and your
program director, these courses could be applied (that your currently taking), but thereís
no guarantee unless you have got advice from the graduate program or the assigned academic
advisor. So I urge you, to please, if you are a non-degree seeking student, not in a
certificate program (that does not apply to you), but those student whose goal is to receive
a degree from Kansas State University, please submit an application prior to finishing your
nine hours.
By using your support systems, both within your program, the graduate school, the network
of graduate students youíll meet through online interactions, through chats and different
methods that youíll be working together in your program, you will be successful. At anytime
that you have questions about your graduate program, again, contact your program, but
again if you need help, we are also here to facilitate your success as a graduate student.
We invite you now to consider participating in commencement the semester you graduate
is a good way to celebrate your success. Youíll get to meet students that you may have been
in classes with, but more importantly youíll get to put a name and face with the graduate
faculty that youíve been interacting. So weíre asking you now to put this on your
long-term calendar as something to plan to do. Some of your graduate programs will actually
require you to be on-campus at different times for different activities, especially those
who are cohort programs, such as the Masters of Agribusiness. Others may encourage you
to come to interact with your advisor if you are available. Others require the culminating
experience, if it is a thesis defense, or if it is a comprehensive exam, they may require
you to be on campus. Otherwise there is a way that you can complete those culminating
experiences for your program using distance technology.
Again, welcome to Kansas State University Graduate School and your Graduate program.
I wish you much success in your degree program, your certificate program, or if your just
taking graduate courses for your professional development so that you can advance within
your career.
Regardless, good luck, and best wishes for much success.