Friday, November 14, 2008

Graduate School Forum

Melinda, another librarian here at Coker, decided that the library should host a graduate school forum for our students. Talking about life after Coker is one of those areas that falls between the cracks of faculty advising, counseling, student life and probably a few more campus departments. In a small school like Coker, this means that no one takes ownership of a certain project.

Melinda has been doing ad hoc graduate school counseling for years. She's not sure how or when it began, but faculty members started sending their advisees to her several years ago. She enjoys meeting with students and discussing the whole process but admits that it would be easier for her (and the other library staff) if we held a workshop to cover as many of the general questions as possible.

I wasn't sure what to expect. From the various library literature and listservs, I knew that drop-in workshops are generally poorly attended. I was extremely pleased to see 20+ students and several faculty and staff attend the workshop.

Most interestingly, and no shock to me, is that there were eighteen women and only three men attending. Our female students tend to be more conscientious as a group, although there are a few exceptional male students. We men think we have all of the answers, where women aren't afraid to admit that they need to ask questions and find out more information to help them succeed. A vast generalization, but it might just work here. Also, from our retention studies here at Coker, our male GPAs are lower than female GPAs. I think that is a national trend, but if I recall the numbers correctly, the disparity is well below the national average.

At any rate, we had a very attentive group with potential MBA, JD, PhD and MA students all with excellent questions. All in all, it was a great experience and hopefully beneficial to those in attendance.

No comments: