Improving Ph.D. Research Potential Assessment

The GCCIS Ph.D. program curriculum committee and faculty used the student learning grant to modify the Research Potential Assessment (RPA) to ensure a fair assessment and support for Ph.D. students. The grant supported the curriculum committee and faculty work in:

  1. Rewriting the student pre-assessment committee policy that requires each student to form his/her pre-assessment committee in consultation with the primary faculty advisor by the end of the first week of the student’s second semester. The primary role of the pre-assessment committee is to assist a Ph.D. student’s advisor in preparing student for his/her Research Potential Assessment (RPA), and to provide guidance regarding courses, professional development, and research activities.
  2. Modifying the 2016 RPA Guidelines to provide more detailed instructions and structures for a RPA paper. Students will conduct their research and at least include critical literature review, research agenda, and research questions & methodology in their RPA papers.
  3. The development of a new RPA rubric to reflect the new guidelines and changes. 

Twelve Ph.D. students participated in 2016 RPA, among which nine students passed after a thorough and rigorous review of their written paper and oral presentation. The assessment committee also used results to reassess student progress and research capabilities and support students as they explore new research directions. Based on the feedback from the RPA in May 2016, we found that the additional information provided by both advisors/faculty and students helped the PhD program director and the RPA assessment committee to make a better assessment, especially to support students who start a new research direction.

For additional information, please contact Pengcheng Shi and Yin Pan