Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey
The Canadian version of the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS) was modeled after a survey originally developed at MIT and Duke University. In the winter of 2007, 28 Canadian universities participated in the survey, 15 of which were from Ontario. Comparative data has been provided for both the Ontario and Canadian groups.
The purpose of the survey is to gather information about the graduate school experience: satisfaction with programs and services as well as support and opportunities for research. The survey was conducted from the end of January to the beginning of March with e-mail invitations sent to all registered graduate students. In all, across Canada almost 100,000 masters and doctoral students received an invitation to participate and 36,039 (36%) accepted the invitation. In Ontario, the response rate was 42% (16,695 of 39,614 students).
Respondent Characteristics: Of the 1,242 Brock graduate students invited to participate, 21% (259) completed the survey. The response rates by Faculty were:
|Applied Health Sciences||25/80 (31%)|
|Maths & Sciences||26/99 (26%)|
|Social Sciences||47/219 (21%)|
Although well below the Ontario and national rates, Brock’s sample is considered roughly representative of the entire population. Of the respondents, 240 were Masters students and 19 were Doctoral students (compared to 1,173 Masters and 69 PhD in the total population). Full-time students represented 75% of the respondents (vs. 55% of the population) and male respondents were at 29%, only slightly lower than in the population – 34%. International students were “over represented” (33% of the respondents vs. 23% of the population).
Satisfaction with Program, Quality of Interactions and Coursework: When asked to rate their relationship with faculty, overall 92% indicated good to excellent (compared to 86% for both the national and Ontario samples). Concerning the overall quality of graduate level teaching, 89% of the Brock respondents said good to excellent (vs. 87% of Canada and 87% of Ontario). More challenging were opportunities to take courses outside the department (63% said good to excellent vs. 72% in Ontario) and opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary work (68% said good to excellent vs. 72% in Ontario and Canada).
Professional Skills Development: Asked to rate the quality of the support and training they received in terms of courses, workshops and orientation on teaching, 88% said good to excellent (vs. 79% for Ontario and Canada). On feedback received on their research, 84% said good to excellent (compared to 77/78% for Canada/Ontario). However, when it came to advice/workshops on publishing their work, only 50% said good to excellent (vs. 53%/54% for Canada/Ontario).
Research Experience: When asked to rate the quality of faculty guidance in formulating a research topic, 82% of Brock respondents indicated good to excellent (compared to 74% for Canada/Ontario). On the quality of support and opportunities for research collaboration with faculty, 77% said good to excellent (vs. 72%/73% for Ontario/Canada).
Thesis/Dissertation Advisors and Mentoring: Generally, it was in this area that Brock demonstrated consistent strength relative to the national and provincial samples. Asked whether advisors gave constructive feedback, 97% said yes (agree/strongly agree), compared to 91%/92% for Canada/Ontario. On the issue of whether or not advisors promoted their professional development, 93% said yes (vs. 87%/88% for Canada/ Ontario). When asked if, overall, advisors had performed the role well, 94% agreed (compared to 89%/90% for Canada/Ontario). Only on the issue of helpfulness in the selection of a dissertation committee did Brock respondents indicate les agreement (87%) than did Ontario respondents (90%).
General Assessment – Quality: Asked to rate the quality of the academic experience at their university, 92% of Brock respondents said good to excellent (compared to 89% for Canada/Ontario). On the quality of their student life experience, 81% said good to excellent (vs. 79% for Canada/Ontario). On the quality of their graduate/professional program, 87% said good to excellent (vs. 85%/86% for Canada/Ontario).
The data from the survey are currently being reviewed by an ad hoc committee chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Further information on the results will be made available in the near future.