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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
July 1, 2015

Canadian Excellence

Issues in Graduate Student Advising

In Winter 2010 the Offices of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Studies and Educational Development engaged in a research project to identify issues and strategies associated with graduate student advising. Following ethics approval, focus groups and email surveys with graduate faculty and graduate students were separately conducted. Four broad questions guided focus group discussion and survey responses.

  • What are common issues that you have encountered in advising and mentoring graduate students (and for students, issues encountered in being advised and mentored by faculty)?
  • What has worked well for you in advising and mentoring graduate students (and for students, being advised and mentored)?
  • What do you think are faculty training needs with regard to graduate student advising and mentoring (and for students, student training needs to maximize the advising/mentoring process)?
  • Do you have any recommendations for the development of future policies or procedures related to graduate student advising?

While our sample sizes were relatively small, the issues and strategies identified in the Laurier context were supported by the broader educational literature. The following student and faculty documents summarize our findings (issues/strategies/process) and outline resources both available electronically and in hardcopy formats.

- Issues in Graduate Student Advising - Student Report
- Issues in Graduate Student Advising - Faculty Report

- Graduate Students
- Graduate Faculty

Research Team
- Nick Coady, Dean, Faculty of Social Work (
- Jeanette McDonald, Manager, Educational Development (
- Christinia Landy, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Philosophy (

For more information about this study, please contact Jeanette McDonald or Tamas Dobozy (Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies |

Related Information Title Type
2012 Resources for Faculty on Graduate Student Advising Document
2012 Resources for Students on Graduate Student Advising Document