February 2006


  • Graduate Education Week is scheduled for March 27 th -31st. Please watch for more details.
  • Graduate education week, National Capital Region, is scheduled for March 27th-31st. For more details, lease visit http://www.ncr.vt.edu/
  • March 1st — Application for Degree submission deadline

Commission on Graduate Studies & Policy (CGS&P)/University Council

In the first two months of 2006, the University Council has approved two new PhD programs and two spin-off degrees. An external site visit is scheduled for the proposed PhD in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis and the PhD in Rhetoric and Writing in mid March. At its March meeting the BOV will review and approve the two new PhD degrees plus the spin-off degrees in Architecture and Design Research (ADR) and Planning, Governance & Globalization (PGG) prior to submission of these degrees to SCHEV for approval at its June meeting.

The Graduate Withdraw (WG) policy was also approved by University Council at its February 20th meeting. The new policy is effective Spring 2006.

CGS&P approved changes in the revalidation process, replacing the revalidation concept with justification for the inclusion of "old" coursework with the submission of the Plan of Study. The changes are effective Spring 2006. The wording for the procedural changes follows:

"The Plan of Study should consist of graduate coursework not older than 5 years at the time of filing of the Plan of Study. In some cases, graduate coursework older than 5 years may be included on the Plan of Study. Justification for inclusion of such coursework should be provided by the advisor, with the support of the student’s advisory committee, at the time of submission of the Plan of Study. Justification should consist of an explanation of how the student will achieve currency in the subject matter of the "old" coursework during the time in degree. Examples of how this may be achieved include taking related courses in the same subject area, work experience that requires currency in the subject area, reading original literature in the area as needed for the thesis/dissertation or other strategies deemed appropriate by the advisory committee. Once the Plan of Study is approved, no further "revalidation" is required for active graduate students.

If a student becomes "inactive" (i.e., is on Leave of Absence for a year or more), the student must be readmitted to the degree program. If re-admission is recommended, the plan of study must be reviewed and all"old" coursework justified."

Reminders from Admissions & Academic Progress

1. Returned plans of study can be reviewed on banner screen SZAGREV. All departments should check this screen regularly to see any returned plans of study. In future, we hope to automate triggers to alert departments of returned plans.

2. SYRB601 departmental no action banner report shows applicants for a particular semester that are pending or out to department.

3. Departments can get a listing of those graduate candidates that have submitted application for degrees and have degrees pending or awarded with report SYRB672.


Monthly Meeting of Graduate Secretaries and Coordinators

We held the inaugural meeting in February. We look forward to the interactions we will have in future meetings on the second Thursday of each month.

If you have agenda items that you would like to discuss, please send them to Monika Gibson at gibsonm@vt.edu so that we can ensure the proper people are at the meeting. Feel free to review the notes and presentation at: https://secure.graduateschool.vt.edu/grad_coord_meetings/

Similar sessions will be coordinated in the National Capital Region. Please contact Marija mtelbisf@vt.edu .


Graduate Education Week (GEW)

Virginia Tech will celebrate its sixth annual Graduate Education Week March 27-31.

GEW is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of graduate students, bring attention to graduate education, and build graduate community. The Graduate School is scheduling programs and events to mark this occasion, but your participation will make Graduate Education Week a campus-wide recognition of graduate students. Please consider coordinating a special event or gesture for your students during this week. Several ideas are listed below. If you notify us of your event (by email to grads@vt.edu), we will be happy to list details with the rest of the Graduate Education Week itinerary on our website. We appreciate your assistance in honoring our graduate community.


— Encourage faculty members to take their students to the Student Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, March 27 at the GLC. (Details and reservation requirements to be posted soon on our website).

— Stop by the GSA Graduate Research Symposium in the GLC Multipurpose Room on Wednesday, March 29.

— Visit and vote on your favorites of the graduate student art work that will be on display in the GLC during GEW.

— Create a listing of student achievements (publications, conference presentations, awards, etc) and post it on departmental bulletin board and website, or create small brochure if there are a lot of listings — circulate these in the department and share with the Graduate School .

— Take pictures of graduate students in academic action (in lab, teaching, writing, etc) and post them on departmental bulletin board, along with an action photo of their life outside the university (if the students are willing); May include some interesting information about the students, such as the title of their favorite book, their dream vacation destination, favorite food, etc.

CollegeNET review for the next admissions cycle

In the first two weeks of March we will be sending an email to departmental staff who are involved with applicant information through CollegeNET to review the new online application. This has been a very long time in coming and we are quite excited about the new structure and features that we will be able to utilize. We have made some large structural changes and look forward to your feedback before we go live. Details will be provided in the upcoming email.

Graduate Catalog

We continue to develop the online Graduate Catalog. In the coming months we will be contacting select areas to do some beta testing. When that is complete and we have made the necessary adjustments, we will have general testing for all areas. Once we emerge from that testing period we will launch this into a production environment. We expect that to be no later than the beginning of the fall 2006 semester.