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Graduate Student Support

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is dedicated to helping all UTSC graduate students enhance their writing, teaching and other professional skills. To this end, CTL works with its partners to provide a range of programming to foster graduate students’ academic success and professionalism, preparing them to enter the job market with a competitive edge.
 
CTL is active in developing workshops, training sessions and campus events that are connected with two tri-campus programs: the Graduate Professional Skills program (GPS) and the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP). In addition, CTL’s Graduate Writing Support offers UTSC graduate students one-to-one help with their writing and editing, either in individual appointments or through electronic formats (email or Skype).
 

CTL Offerings for Graduate Students

UTSC graduate students can receive individual help with their writing from Dr. Cindy Bongard, a writing specialist who draws upon many years of experience teaching and supervising graduate students. Contact her at cindy.bongard@utoronto.ca to discuss any of your writing projects or questions.

These online or face-to-face consultations can address any type of graduate student writing – from course papers and application materials to research proposals, thesis chapters and papers for publication. A growing number of UTSC graduate students have had their papers published after taking advantage of this writing initiative, which aims to help writers develop professional-level communication skills.

Every year in the fall term, CTL offers an afternoon event with seminars and a panel discussion that aim to better prepare graduate students for a competitive job market, while examining the opportunities and challenges that exist in today’s labour market. Attendance is also worth MyGPD credit.

The Graduate Professional Development (MyGPD) program helps you choose the skills you need to build a narrative of your career path as a graduate student. CTL and its campus partners organize annual MyGDP workshop series and conferences, with new seminars added regularly throughout the year. These events help build skills that complement your discipline, such as research, data visualization and networking.

For details about current MyGPD offerings and to register, please visit the CTL events site for graduate students and TAs: https://ctl.eve.utoronto.ca/home.

Also look for our weekly emails to grads list upcoming grad events from CTL and other organizations. You do not have to be enrolled in MyGPD to participate in these events, and graduate students from any U of T campus are welcome.

Some highlights of the MyGPD program include:

Flexibility: You can attend MyGPD workshops through U of T and also organize your own professional development experiences. Workshops are listed in three ways: By type (Core and Elective), skill area (Personal Effectiveness, Research Skills, Teaching Competency, Public Scholarship), and format (Synchronous and Asynchronous). 

Credits: Three hours of instruction = one GPS credit. Sometimes seminars are shorter than 3 hours and include a take-home activity. To get a GPS transcript notation, be sure that 10 of your MyGPD credits are from synchronous (live) courses and at least 10 of your credits are from CORE GPS sessions, organized directly by U of T. All MyGPD workshops organized through the CTL count as Core, unless otherwise indicated.

Recognition: At the end of your professional development journey, you write a reflection piece about how your experiences have helped you become the professional that you want to become. Upon completing this, plus credits equal to about 60 hours of work, you get a Graduate Professional Skills notation on your transcript about your achievement.

Format: At present, meetings are held using Zoom and require a computer with a microphone and webcam. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

All meetings are recorded to the cloud for accessibility purposes so that students unable to attend the session can watch later. The instructor will use their discretion to turn off recording when necessary. If you have confidentiality concerns, please turn off your camera, mute your mic and tell the instructor.

You are responsible for keeping track of your MyGPD credits. Click here to download a GPS tracking form.

More details are on the MyGPD Quercus page (login using UTORid required). If you have questions, feel free to contact Dr. Greg Sharzer, Graduate Student Coordinator, at greg.sharzer@utoronto.ca.

The tri-campus Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) aims to enhance the teaching skills of both teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate students who are not TAs. The program’s offerings help TAs improve their effectiveness in tutorials and in grading. In addition, the credit workshops are intended to benefit any students who seek to develop their preparation and credentials for teaching responsibilities later in their careers.

For details about current TATP credit workshops and to register, please visit the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation TATP site.