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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The GEAR UP for Graduate Studies program is designed to give participants an opportunity to review and reflect on their academic practices in preparation for a graduate-level course of study.

Whether you are returning to academic study after some years away, or just want a little extra preparation, GEAR UP can help put you on track for success.

The information contained in the program is based on research into both mature learners’ needs and best practices for improved learning in online, onsite and blended environments. It also draws on the expertise of our learning support professionals who have many years of experience working with students to help them improve their critical thinking and academic writing skills.

Course Overview

  • Start date: Continuous
  • Delivery: Online
  • Who: Open (intended for students who are starting an onsite, blended or fully online graduate level program at a college or university, but anyone may participate)
  • Fee: $95
  • Time: Approximately 12 hours
  • Certificate of completion: Yes


The GEAR UP program includes six modules to help you prepare for graduate level academic work. Each module will help you practice and enhance your academic skills to support your success in graduate courses.

“In May of 2018, I entered graduate studies at Laurier with aspirations of obtaining my master’s degree. Upon my acceptance, I had not been in a formal university course for twenty-one (21) years. Fortunately for me, I received an email about GEAR UP for Graduate Studies. I signed up for the course and it was exactly what I needed to prepare myself for my current program. I finished the modules and received reference material that I use on a continual basis. I highly recommend the program to anyone that is considering furthering his or her education, especially if you have been absent from a formal educational setting for any length of time.”

Raj Saini, Police Sergeant

Module 1: Expectations and Personal Assets

This module introduces you to the expectations for graduate students, goal setting, and recognizing personal assets to support success.

Module 2: Balancing School-Work-Life Commitments

You will be engaged in understanding life-role conflicts and stress management, and practice skills for time management.

Module 3: Engaging with the Learning Materials - Readings, Lectures and Beyond

This module focuses on increasing your awareness of strategies for successful learning including reading techniques, note taking and review for test preparation.

Module 4: Research Skills

You will hone your academic research skills and learn strategies for engaging in inquiry by focusing a research question, understanding the role of different types of sources in the research process, and knowing how to find and evaluate sources.

Module 5: Engaging with Professors and Peers

This module focuses on the value of connections with peers and professors, including skills on crafting effective discussion posts and engaging in productive group work.

Module 6: Academic Writing at the Graduate Level

You will develop your understanding of expectations for graduate students’ engagement in academic communication including organizing ideas in an essay, integrating sources with integrity, and using APA documentation style for citation.


This learning package is housed within Laurier’s online learning platform, MyLearningSpace. Once you submit the registration form and make payment, your username and password will be emailed to you immediately. Once you gain access, you will have 60 days to complete the six modules.

You may register as an internal Laurier graduate student if you are registered or planning to register in a Laurier graduate program.

You may register as an external graduate student if you are entering a graduate program offered at another postsecondary institution.


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