When you applied to your graduate program at UNL, the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) processed your application and accepted you into the University. What you may not realize is that the mission of OGS is to serve you during your time here. We offer many services, resources, and events to help you develop as a teacher, scholar, and future professional. Check out our current offerings below and feel free to contact us if there is any other way we can help.
Fellowships, Assistantships, and Registration
Fellowships, Assistantships, and Registration
Caroline Knuth, the Fellowship Specialist and Graduate Registrar, can answer questions about your assistantship or fellowship and can solve problems you might have with course registrations.
Graduate Program Progress
To help you track your progress in your degree program, you're required to submit forms and information at various times (e.g., the Memorandum of Courses as you begin a master's degree, or the Report of Completion when you schedule your doctoral final oral exam, among others). It's important to provide information on time but it can be confusing to keep track of all these forms and to make sure that everything is submitted correctly. Fortunately, there are two staff members in our office to help you. Dr. Eva Bachman works with doctoral and Ed.S. students, and Terri Eastin assists all master's degree students.
Teaching Development Program
If you're currently teaching, you may want to get some feedback on your performance and some ideas on how to improve. It can be helpful in several ways: (1) identifying and solving specific problems in teaching and learning; (2) confirmation that activities, assignments, and the class as a whole, are judged by students as valuable; (3) summaries of student feedback and how you responded it is a valuable part of a teaching portfolio. Whatever your motivation, you can participate in the Teaching Development Program, which may include mid-semester student feedback, a classroom observation by an instructional consultant, a "students-eye" video recording of you teaching, and individualized coaching to help you develop strategies and goals to develop your instructional skills.
Job Document consultations
Writing a good cover letter or putting together a well-organized CV or teaching philosophy can be difficult, and those documents often dictate whether you get a job interview or not! Before you submit a job application, have your application documents reviewed by a consultant in our office. Reviews are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and can take several weeks in busy times of the year, so make your request early!
Student Fellowship/Grant Consultation
If you apply for a student grant or fellowship, you'll find there are a lot of materials to prepare. Knowing what the funding agencies want and writing a strong application can be a challenge, and we can help reach out to our office to get some advice and feedback on your materials.
Mock Interviews/Job Talks
One of the best ways to prepare for job interview is to practice! If you want to practice your job talk for a friendly audience, or do a mock interview to practice answering tough questions, just send a request by email, allowing us a few days to coordinate.
Think of microteaching as short teaching practice sessions. You prepare a 10–12-minute lesson then receive feedback from instructional consultants or other graduate students. This is a great way to practice teaching if you are not yet in the classroom, or to get feedback on your teaching prior to a teaching demonstration. We can also provide a "students-eye" video recording of you teaching. It sounds scary, but it's incredibly useful for teaching development. Request a microteaching session for yourself or your TA cohort.
Career and Professional Development Website
Ultimately, all graduate students should be considering their professional development and preparation for their future career. We have a variety of resources available to help you understand potential career pathways, prepare for academic or non-academic career paths, and for your professional development as a scholar.
Working with a mentor and being a good mentee, are important skills for graduate students to learn. Our mentoring guidebook is a great resource to help you work with your mentor well.
Online Guide for Graduate TAs
Looking for general teaching advice and resources? Check out our online resources here.
Research Writing Modules
Learning to write well takes time. We have a series of modules available on our website to help you learn about various aspects of research writing to help you improve your writing.
Center for the Integration of Research on Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)
UNL is a member of the CIRTL network, a consortium of 43 doctoral-granting universities in the US and Canada. One of the great benefits of this is that all UNL graduate students have access to professional development online workshops or courses, materials, or other resources produced by any other school in the group. Check out the list of events and resources on the CIRTL website. UNL will also run several learning communities and workshops throughout the year, contact us if you have any questions.
Preparing Future Faculty
If you are planning to work as faculty member after graduation, it is worth understanding what being a faculty member looks like at different institutions. The Preparing Future Faculty program is a great opportunity to build your teaching skills, but also to learn about what faculty roles at other institutions may differ. Through mentoring, you can see specifically how faculty positions at other universities might differ from your UNL experience.
List of External Fellowships
Are you looking for a fellowship? Did you know that UNL has a list of hundreds of fellowship opportunities on their website? Check out the full list here.
Campuswide Workshops for Graduate TAs
Each year in August, we host a day-long series of workshops on teaching. The workshop session topics change every year, so even if you have attended previously and whether you are currently teaching or plan on teaching in the future, there's always something more you can learn from the Workshops.
Institute for International Teaching Assistants
Every summer, we offer a two-week institute to international teaching assistants to help them learn how to teach effectively in an American classroom and to improve their language skills.
Graduate Student Development Workshop series
During the Fall and Spring Semester, we facilitate a number of workshops and seminars on topics related to your professional development or teaching. This semester, we are planning workshops on building a teaching portfolio and writing a teaching philosophy and writing an effective CV. To see our upcoming events and any additional workshops we announce, please check our calendar of events.
Spring Research Fair
Each Spring, we, along with the Office of Research, organize a Research Fair exclusively for UNL graduate students. One of the highlights of this event is the poster session and poster competition. All students are welcome to participate, and in the last year we have opened up the presentation options to include electronic posters, physical displays, or other presentation methods. If your research is not something that can be easily displayed on a poster, consider presenting it in another format--it's a great chance to share your work with the university community and to practice presenting your research prior to attending other conferences.
We look forward to working with you all during your time at UNL. Come join us at one of our events, visit us for a consultation, or let us know if there is any other way we can help you succeed!