PhD CTL Results

The most recent PhD AoL cycle was completed in the Fall of 2019. Data was collected for this cycle was collected over a period of several semesters ending in the Fall of 2018.  The PhD CTL committee met during the Fall semester of 2018 and published the following summary results:

Most Current Report (2019):

  • Committee Members:
    • Dan Sherrell (Chair)
    • Tom McInish (FIR)
    • Joon Lee (ECON)
    • Ted Lee (BIT)
    • Kristen Jones (MGMT)
    • Chuck Pierce (ex officio, Dean's Office
    • Ashley Connolly (Graduate Programs Administration)
    • Sandy Schaeffer (Assessment Coordinator, Dean's Office)

Summary of Findings:

Overall, the assessed PhD students showed good or exemplary competence across the majority
of the degree's learning outcomes. However, in the general area of journal publications and
conference presentations a number of students fell in the "fair" (score-=1) category and
merited attention. This was the most significant finding (See: Goals 1, 2 & 3) where 27% of the
students were not successful in publishing a paper and 9% were not successful in presenting at
an academic conference. The committee focused its attention on addressing those two
shortfalls. [See Appendix A for a full detailed review of the assessment outcomes for each
Program Learning Goals (PLG) by Measured Learning Outcome (MLO) in the PhD program.]
Recommendations for Improvement:

  1. PhD faculty should increase the frequency of "dry run" presentations by all PhD candidates.
  2. Develop a more structured rubric for assessing student presentations to provide more constructive feedback for improvement.
  3. Increase financial support for PhD students to attend academic conferences.

Recommendations & Actions:

Recommendation:  Increase frequency of "dry run" presentations by all PhD candidates:

  • Action 1: All departments will increase the frequency of their PhD students as presenters in departmental research forums and other internal discipline-specific events.
  • Action 2: The Finance Department will continue to encourage PhD candidates to revise and resubmit before their final dissertation presentation.
  • Action 3: Explore expanding to other disciplines what Management does through its MMRC (Midsouth Management Regional Council) which includes regional academic conference presentation opportunities for graduate students.

Recommendation: More structured rubric & feedback on student presentations:

  • Action 1: PhD faculty will explore participating in a college-wide project to develop a structured framework for teaching and assessing communication skills. A specific version of this framework will be adapted to the needs of doctoral-level students.

Recommendation: Increase financial support for PhD candidates to academic conferences:

  • Action 1: All departments with PhD candidates will work to ensure adequate funds are available for graduate students to participate in at least one academic conference as a presenter.
  • Action 2: Explore professional development for FCBE PhD faculty to improve their overall skills at preparing our doctoral students for the job market. This might occur in the form of outside consultant-led workshops each Fall and funded through the Dean's office.


[View/Download/Print a PDF of the Full 2019 PhD CTL Report.]

(page updated: 10/24/2019)