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Washington State University Graduate School
Fall 2016


What We Do

Welcome to the new Graduate School Insider Newsletter! Our goal is to keep you informed of new policies and procedures, events, processes, and opportunities for you and your graduate students. As the central service unit within WSU for graduate students, we focus on graduate enrollment management, graduate program review and assessment, recruitment and retention, and graduate student advocacy.





What’s New

Video Interviewing Prospects

The Graduate School is implementing a new CollegeNET product that allows departments to interview prospective graduate school candidates in video format. The applicant reviews the questions and answers them by recording a short video reply to each question. This is a good option for interviewing candidates departments are interested in pursuing further and for checking language skills. Departments will have access to the final interviews via an online portal in the CollegeNET system. We plan to go live with video interviews late October to early November 2016. Videos of questions (in mp4 format) are due to the Graduate School by 5PM on Monday October 3. Questions? Contact Scott Bean at

New Process for Requests for Information

That Graduate School has implemented a new process for website requests for information. Prospects who fill out the online form to receive information about WSU graduate school programs will be automatically redirected to this website upon submission of the form. At the same time, the prospect will receive an email from the dean of the Graduate School, Dr. William Andrefsky, and the contact information sent to the department(s) in which the prospect has indicated an interest. The email that departments receive will list the prospect’s name, program of interest, contact information, and expected year of attendance.

A week following the student’s initial inquiry, he/she will receive a second email from a graduate student that speaks to life as a graduate student at WSU Pullman. A third, fourth, and fifth email will be sent to the prospect two weeks apart that addresses research opportunities, finance, and a final request from the dean to apply. These emails from the Graduate School are generic in nature and do not speak to the prospect’s specific program of interest.

Our IT Department has worked hard to enter all the correct programs and email contacts for this new automated process. To change the email contact for your programs, contact Scott Bean at We hope you will follow up when you receive these prospective student names, and let us know if we can assist you in any way in your recruitment strategy. Our system is set up to automatically send you reminders if the emails are not opened within two weeks.

NOTE: Prospects are allowed to enter up to three programs of interest and a certificate in the request for information form. If you receive two emails with the same prospect information, it is because the prospect has entered your program in more than one of those fields. Please feel free to delete duplicates.

Graduate Research Management Module in myWSU

Graduate Research Management (GRM) is a new module in myWSU designed specifically for graduate education. The module is intended to adapt the existing Oracle SIS as it is used at WSU into a system more closely aligned with the needs of graduate students, their departments, and the Graduate School. The module is intended to replace departmental and Graduate School “shadow systems” by centralizing student data in myWSU and making this data readily available to departments and the Graduate School to aid in organizational planning and student advising. The module employs a sophisticated electronic approval process to make form approval and processing more fluid and efficient. As a whole, GRM will reimagine how students, departments, and the Graduate School interact by shifting towards a proactive service paradigm

GRM is being introduced through a phased release schedule. The Graduate School uploaded data on all active students in August 2015 and has continuously maintained that data for all students with an active graduate degree. In January 2016, the initial stages of GRM’s electronic form submission process went live, allowing departments to submit forms to the Graduate School within myWSU and to track these forms through to completion. The second stage of electronic form submission is expected to release in fall 2016 and will expand upon the electronic signature approval process. Additionally, the GRM committee is currently developing a means for faculty to vote on preliminary and final exams in myWSU.

The Graduate School and Enterprise Systems are also working together to bring the Program of Study into myWSU. The electronic Program of Study, tied to the Oracle student degree audit system, will allow students to initially see their minimum degree requirements so they can work in concert with their advisor to accurately plan their first semesters of enrollment. Once the proper documentation is submitted and approved, the degree audit will transform, showing any given student their unique Program of Study and automatically pulling from milestones and transcript data to show students their real-time progress towards completing the degree.

GRM is a sophisticated system designed to meet the specific needs of graduate education at WSU. By centralizing student data and providing accurate degree audit information, GRM will allow for a marked increase in effectiveness, reporting, and collaboration between individual students, academic units, and the Graduate School. Queries accessing GRM data are already allowing departments and the Graduate School to track faculty effort on committees, including efforts spent on committees outside of a faculty member’s discipline, and to identify students in need of personal attention – such as those soon in need of an extension – and reach out to students to address issues before they have a negative impact. As the module continues to increase access to accurate student data, and to offer faculty more flexibility through electronic approvals and voting, GRM will help Washington State University elevate its graduate programs to new heights through efficient, effective, and proactive service to our graduate students.

Professional Development Initiative

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) provides a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success. The goal of PDI is to ensure that all graduate and professional students have the skills, knowledge, and mindsets necessary to succeed both professionally and academically. Organized by the Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), PDI has received support through many partnerships and colleges across campus. We have developed the following core competencies intended to guide students through their programs and help them transition into their future role in academia or industry:

  • Academic and Career Development
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Leadership and Professionalism
  • Personal Well-being

A number of workshops have been scheduled throughout the academic year. Direct your graduate students to to learn about upcoming events.

2016-17 Changes to Graduate School Policies and Procedures
  • Enrollment Requirements for Time Extensions: Students who have an approved extension of their time to degree must enroll in a minimum of 2 research credits during one semester of their first extension. Students must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 2 research credits during Fall and Spring semesters of their second or third extensions (unless they complete their degree before the extension expires). (see Chapter Six, Section F:
  • Transfer Credit:  Graded, graduate-level special topics courses from an accredited university may be transferable with committee, program and Graduate School approval.  A syllabus for the special topics course must be submitted with the transfer request (program of study) so that a determination can be made. (See Transfer Credit policy in Chapter Six, Section G2:
  • Professionally Oriented Graduate Programs:  This new policy is designed to provide more flexibility for graduate programs that are more professionally oriented than research-oriented.  The program of study requires a total of 30 credits, which include a minimum of 27 graded credits and either a 3-credit capstone course or 3 credits of 701 capstone project/examination credits.  Faculty advisory committees may be cohort-based and include all non-tenured faculty members.  For more information about this policy and how to apply it to your program, please contact an Associate Dean at the Graduate School. (See Chapter Fourteen:

AGEP Grant

Washington State University is part of an eight-institution alliance awarded $2.4 million in 2014 by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Transformation (NSF AGEP-T). The award will fund a 42-month project aimed at increasing the participation of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in STEM graduate programs (HRD grant #1432932). The alliance, called PNW-COSMOS for “Pacific Northwest Circle of Success: Mentoring Opportunities in STEM” is composed of four lead institutions including Washington State University, University of Idaho, Montana State University, and University of Montana—and four partner institutions: Heritage University, Montana Tech, Northwest Indian College, and Salish Kootenai College. A unique feature of PNW-COSMOS is the development of mentoring communities composed of faculty, staff, students and members of Indigenous communities. This community provides support for Native students from recruitment through completion of their graduate program.

Washington State University Graduate School Dean William Andrefsky, Graduate School Associate Dean Lori Carris, with co-PIs Amit Dhingra (Horticulture) and Kelly Ward (Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational Psychology)  are working closely with Tribal Liaison Barbara Aston, Assistant Director Ken Lokensgard of the Plateau Center for American Indian Studies and faculty in STEM programs including Civil & Environmental Engineering (Shelley Pressley), Molecular Plant Sciences (Michael Neff and Sonja Roje), Natural Resources (Mark Swanson), and Plant Pathology (Lindsey DuToit) to foster Native student success in graduate programs Learn more about PNW-COSMOS activities and participating institutions at

Graduate programs are encouraged to let prospective Native student applicants to STEM programs know that they are eligible for an application fee waiver by contacting Lori Carris ( Native students admitted to eligible master’s and doctoral programs are also eligible to be nominated for a Research Assistantship for Diverse Scholars (RADS) and the Graduate School’s Campus Visitation Program:


 Reports, Reminders, Resources

2015 Annual Report

We’ve just released our first Annual Report for the 2014-15 Academic Year. Click here to download a pdf.

Student Scholarship Nominations

The Graduate School provides a number of scholarships for outstanding graduate students. Students are nominated for these scholarships by their department each fall. You can find out about each of these student opportunities HERE. Student recipients and their mentors are recognized at the Graduate School annual Evening of Excellence.

Student Orientation Report

Graduate School orientation took place on August 16 this year with a record 352 students in attendance. To view videos of all the presentations and a photo gallery of the event, click on the links in the right sidebar on the Graduate School’s home page. For students who were unable to attend, please direct them to the videos of each session.

Recruiting Tips

Our Recruitment Toolbox provides departments with some valuable tools, such as lists of prospect names, to help you reach out to those who have expressed an interest in graduate school at Washington State University. On this website, you can learn about how to plan a recruitment campaign, improve your communications, and print out or email some of the informational flyers we have designed for recruitment.

We recently uploaded a new list of student names from the National Name Exchange. This list includes close to 8,000 names of underrepresented, high achieving undergraduate students from more than 50 universities who are interested in attending graduate school.

In 2015-16, the Graduate School implemented more than a dozen email campaigns to name lists that we acquired at graduate fairs or through programs such as the GRE, the McNair Scholars Directory, and the National Name Exchange.

Remind your Students to Establish Residency!

Direct your students to to help them begin the year-long process of establishing Washington State residency. Becoming a resident is worth the effort:  Resident tuition is $5,892 and non-resident tuition is $12,608.

Friday Focus Newsletter for Students

Our weekly newsletter to graduate students is intended to inform them of upcoming events, deadlines, and opportunities (including job openings). If you have information you would like to share with graduate students in our Friday Focus newsletter, contact Note that graduate coordinators are also sent a copy of the newsletter. Please do not forward this copy to your students.



We would like to hear from you! Please let us know if there is information you would find valuable for our Graduate School Insider Newsletter. Just email Cheryl Reed at