Graduate Analysis

Strengths

  • Nationally ranked programs
  • National reputation for innovation and undergraduate student success
  • Diversity – ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of our student body as well as the diversity and breadth of our programs
  • Urban location – includes cost of living, opportunities for travel/growth, evolving needs of local job market for program development and the potential for industry/agency partnerships
  • Versatility and interdisciplinarity of faculty
  • Proven success in securing grants for innovation and teaching/training, i.e. the NEH career diversity grant
  • Substantial growth in research awards and achievements throughout the university and college
  • Marketability of the teaching opportunities and pedagogical training for graduate students in some departments

Weaknesses

  • Funding – includes inconsistencies in competitiveness of stipend levels, inconsistencies in graduate student teaching workload, inefficiencies in resource utilization across college, etc.
  • Infrastructural barriers to program development and innovation – includes lack of faculty incentives, lack of marketing and market analysis supports, lack of student supports in online environment, etc.
  • Lack of college-level, systematic plans, policies and procedures to help guide graduate programs for funding allocation, GTA training, mentorship, etc.
  • Lack of initiatives targeting retention, progression and completion of current graduate students
  • Data – lack of program-level, readily available data to help assess quality, RPG, student success and placement
  • Low morale of faculty and students in relation to enrollment pressures and standards of admittance
  • Lack of consistency in mentoring and pedagogical training
  • Not enough faculty to teach at graduate level in relation to the programs that are growing and are in need
  • Diversity – ethnic, racial, cultural and gender diversity of our faculty
  • Communication – insufficient communication externally and internally messaging our strengths and successes and sharing our best practices and resources across the college

Opportunities

  • Location – many opportunities in Atlanta area for collaboration and partnerships with industry, government and non-profits that can promote and inform program development and enrollment growth
  • Emerging areas of need in the regional job market are diverse and well-suited for program development in COAS (i.e. analytics, cybersecurity, etc.)
  • Recent external and internal grant opportunities promote program innovation (.i.e. NEH career diversity grant, SIF fellowships, etc.)
  • Large, diverse and local potential pool of applicants
  • Nascent infrastructural supports for program innovation (i.e. CETL for online course content design and platform support, new position focused on market analysis and marketing)
  • Untapped alumni connections to help promote program
  • Wide range of opportunities for experiential learning
  • Growth in development (awards) could open opportunities for increased student funding
  • Diversity of student population positions college for increased minority-focuses grant opportunities

Threats

  • Current landscape with uncertainties surrounding federal and state funding
  • Gentrification of the Atlanta area and its effects on research (i.e. public health) and students’ cost of living
  • Flat graduate enrollment nationally paired with dramatically increased competition
  • Shrinking academic job market and potential for placements
  • Lack of infrastructural supports and procedural clarity at university level regarding legal issues (i.e. intellectual property, MOU’s, external fellowships, etc.)
  • Continued expansion of GSU’s undergraduate focus creates resource imbalance and increased growth burden on graduate programs
  • Growing instructional needs of undergraduates increases workload on graduate students
  • External brand recognition of GSU
  • Lack of infrastructural support for graduate student life and career development
  • Increased demands on role of Graduate Directors
  • Size of college as impediment to efficiency and flexibility