Our mapping analysis to date has focused on chemistry departments’ responses to the challenges of preparing Ph.D.s for their future professions. In exploring whether and how chemistry departments responded to calls for change, we uncovered other forces driving changes in graduate education and chemistry departments’ priorities. Our publications and presentations elucidate these forces and provide a snapshot of current practices in graduate education in the context of the broader landscape of science research and education.
To date, findings reveal that many chemistry departments are incorporating practices recommended by graduate education research and practice initiatives of the past decade and a half: paying more attention to informing and advising students about policies and practices for moving through the program; providing more educational opportunities for developing key professional skills such as speaking and writing (in addition to those offered within research groups); offering opportunities to explore careers, such as internships in industry. Some departments are also taking specific steps to improve recruitment and retention of women and students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. However, most often these are provided on a piecemeal basis, rather than as part of a comprehensive educational program for doctoral students, and they are seldom assessed.
Case study data totaling some 100 interviews has been collected at 3 sites and analysis is underway.
Laursen, S., Thiry, H., Loshbaugh, H. (2009, March). Research Brief: What have we learned? Across the U.S., Ph.D. programs in chemistry are changing to meet contemporary demands. Ethnography & Evaluation Research, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Thiry, H., Laursen, S., Loshbaugh, H. (2010). Changing contexts in graduate education: Mapping the landscape of departmental approaches to professional preparation of chemistry Ph.D. students. Poster presented at REESE PI meeting, Pentagon City, VA, March 11-12, 2010.
Loshbaugh, H., Thiry, H., & Laursen, S. (2010). Doing chemistry in changing times: Mapping trends and tensions in U.S. chemistry graduate education. Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World, 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO, April 30-May 4, 2010.
Loshbaugh, H. L., Laursen, S. L., & Thiry, H. (2011). Reaction to changing times: Trends and tensions in U.S. chemistry graduate education. Journal of Chemical Education, 88, 708-715.
Thiry, H., Loshbaugh, H. G., & Laursen, S. (2011). Charting a course through the chemistry workforce: Misdirected career decision-making among chemistry Ph.D. students. 242nd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, August 28-Sept. 1, 2011.
Loshbaugh, H. G., Thiry, H., & Laursen, S. (2011). Devil in the details: Learning to cross t's and dot i's in the academic workplace. 242nd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, August 28-Sept. 1, 2011.