Category: Succeeding in Graduate School

Copyright Workshop for Graduate Students

What’s copyright and what does it have to do with your dissertation? Do you need permission to use someone else’s figure or image, or an article you wrote? Should you make your thesis open access? And what is a Creative Commons license? Get the answers to these and other questions at the library workshop: “Copyright and Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Master’s Report.”

In this workshop, you’ll learn the role U.S. copyright law plays in writing and publishing your report, thesis or dissertation. We will explore the legal use of copyrighted material, publishing agreements and Creative Commons licensing, and the role of Michigan Tech’s institutional repository Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. After this workshop, you will be prepared to make informed decisions about using copyrighted material and the publishing options for your dissertation, thesis or master’s report.

Join us on Oct. 14 at noon in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Room 244. Registration is required.


Graduate School Resources and Response to COVID-19

This post summarizes the response and resources available to graduate students beginning spring 2020. Resources that continue to be available as of fall 2021 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Health and Safety Resources and Responses

*HuskyFAN Food and Delivery

Michigan Technological University’s campus food pantry, or HuskyFAN, moved their operations to include an online food order form. Through this form students, faculty and staff, can request items to be packaged and delivered or arrange a pick up day and time. Starting mid-September the food pantry will distribute vouchers to be used at the local Houghton Farmer’s Market. These can be used to purchase fresh produce.

*Provided Masks and Other Wellness Supplies

At the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, all student groups were provided a time to pick up a wellness packet which included a washable mask, hand sanitizer, and information on health and safety during the pandemic. Areas on campus including HuskyFAN and Residence Education and Housing, and Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being have continued to provide masks and other wellness supplies like cleaners, wipes, and hand sanitizer to all students upon request.

*Telehealth

Michigan Technological University’s Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being (CSMWWB) moved their operations online including the Graduate Student Support Group. Recognizing the need for additional mental health and well-being resources, the CSMWWB has launched another telehealth option through MySSP.

*On Campus Testing and Symptom Monitoring

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Michigan Technological University encouraged, and at times required, all students to use the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form which provided the necessary offices with information to support students who felt unwell. On demand COVID-19 testing has continued to be available to students, faculty and staff throughout the academic year.

*Isolation/Quarantine Spaces

Throughout the pandemic multiple departments on campus (Residence Education & Housing Services, Graduate School, Dean of Students Office) worked together to ensure students had safe spaces if they were required to isolate or quarantine. During an isolation or quarantine period, students were contacted often to provide them with resources including food delivery, virtual engagement opportunities, mental health resources, assistance with children, and many other resources.

Financial Resources and Responses

*Emergency Funds

Even before the pandemic began, Michigan Technological University had a process in place for students to request emergency funds for extenuating circumstances. At the start of the pandemic, the decision was made to loosen the eligibility requirements of the emergency funds in order to allow as many students as possible the opportunity to apply. Over the last year and a half, Michigan Technological University has given out over $100,000. In addition, the Graduate School was gifted $100,000 which was distributed to graduate students in need.

Distribution of CARES Funds

For eligible students, CARES funds were distributed through block payments. Upcoming CARES funds will be distributed in a similar manner.

Daniell Heights

Policies regarding evictions and late fees were relaxed. Students with a payment plan in place could remain in their housing and late fees were waived.

Academic Related Resources and Responses

Deadline Flexibility

Many different deadlines including time for completion of an incomplete grade,and date for withdrawal with a “W”,  were extended for all students during the spring 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 semesters.

Course Retake Policy

The policy for the number and type of courses that can be retaken has been modified. Any courses taken during spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 will not count toward the limit of retaking a class a maximum of three times as stated in the University policy and may be repeated, regardless of the grade that was received.

Pass/Fail Grades

In the spring 2020, and fall 2020 semesters students were provided with the opportunity to choose a Pass/ Low Pass/ Fail Option as Michigan Technological University recognized that the alternative modalities for classes may not have been ideal for all types of students.

Suspensions/Dismissals

In spring 2020 the Graduate School amended the policy for Good Academic Standing and Dismissal to not penalize any students who may have been placed on probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Dissertation, Thesis, Report Deadlines

In spring 2020, the Graduate School extended the grace period and waived the fee to allow students to complete their degree without additional registration. In summer 2020, the grace period fee was also waived.

Scholastic Standards

Additional flexibility was offered for graduate scholastic standards. Pass (SCV) grades from spring 2020 and fall 2020 are allowed to be used to fulfill degree requirements, and programs have the flexibility to allow an additional 3 credits of pass (SCV) grades to be used toward graduate degree requirements.

*Electronic Forms and Processes

The Graduate School recognized that many forms and processes were not as functional once we transitioned to remote learning and work. All signatures on forms have been and will be accepted as an email from the signatory.  Other forms and processes were modified or moved online including:

  • Approval for a dissertation, thesis, or report
  • Application for an additional program (masters to PhD in same program)
  • Application for scheduling a dissertation, thesis, or report defense
  • Degree completion form moved to an updated format
  • Appeals of suspensions moved to an updated format
  • Report on final oral examination form moved to an updated format

*International Students

As the pandemic continues to affect international students, please continue to monitor the International Programs and Services and MTU Flex Portal webpages for information.

Additional flexibility was allowed by USCIS to permit continuing international students to take classes remotely or register for less than full-time to maintain their visa status.

*: Resources that continue to be available as of fall 2021.


Michigan Space Grant Consortium graduate fellowship application support

The Graduate School is offering support services to assist graduate students in applying for the Michigan Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate Fellowship, including a workshop and one-on-one writing support.

MSGC’s Graduate Fellowship opportunity supports graduate students from affiliate
institutions who are conducting research and public service projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests as expressed in NASA’s 2014 & 2018 Strategic Plans, specifically, research focused on aerospace, space science, and earth system science. Graduate students working in other, related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are also eligible to apply. Starting this year, MSGC is piloting an expanded definition of STEM to include support for interdisciplinary projects that include art, so graduate students conducting research and projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests in disciplines not traditionally considered STEM, such as the humanities or social sciences, are likewise encouraged to apply.

Fellowship recipients are awarded $5,000. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. nationals, have a good academic record, and be in good academic standing. Women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Students currently receiving MSGC Fellowships are eligible to reapply.

Workshop information: Overview and tips from an MSGC Fellowship reviewer
Date and Time: Friday, September 17th, from 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Location: Admin 404
Presenter: Will Cantrell, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Host: Sarah Isaacson, GLAS Program Director, sisaacso@mtu.edu
Register here: https://forms.gle/RSPYtUHVD6Yjimou6
A recording of the workshop will be available beginning September 21st.

Deadlines:
Wednesday, Nov. 3 at noon — Internal deadline for undergraduate and graduate fellowship proposals
Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. — Final materials, after review and approval by SPO, must be uploaded to MSGC by the applicant

For more information and specific application instructions, visit the MSGC website and the MTU Graduate School’s MSGC web page.


Smart Start Seminar – September 8, 2021

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to our virtual Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be recorded for any students who cannot attend the in person or zoom meeting.

The seminar will be on September 8, 2021 beginning at 2:00pm via Zoom and the Alumni Lounges in the MUB.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.
It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend at that time.


Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2 – 4pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Alumni Lounge B & C; (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Formatting 101-103
    Learn about templates, checking your document with Adobe Acrobat, and how to use copyrighted materials. You’ll also learn where resources are on the web page so you can learn more about the topics that interest you.
  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.


How to change your life

If you’ve ever struggled with how to establish a new habit (maybe something like writing every day for your dissertation), behavioral science has some ideas that might be helpful for you.

In NPR’s Life Kit podcast, behavioral scientist Katy Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School presents some of her findings. One idea that we found interesting is that some flexibility in setting your goals can help you establish new habits. If you set a goal to write everyday at 10am for an hour, but don’t do it, give yourself the flexibility to fit in an hour at a different time in the day. People who gave themselves the flexibility to fit in a workout at a prescribed time or a different time were more likely to stick to that new habit.


Smart Start Seminar – January 20, 2021

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to our virtual Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be recorded for any students who cannot attend the zoom meeting.

The seminar will be on January 20, 2021 beginning at 2:00pm via Zoom.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.

It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend at that time.


Smart Start Seminar – September 2, 2020

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to our virtual Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be recorded for any students who cannot attend the zoom meeting.

The seminar will be on September 2, 2020 beginning at 1:00pm via Zoom.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.
It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend at that time.


GSG and the CTL to Host Teaching Seminar for GTAs and GTIs

The Graduate Student Government (GSG), in collaboration with the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, is hosting a seminar for GTAs and GTIs who will be teaching in the Fall 2020 semester.

This virtual event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 20). Topics such as teaching resources, safety, student engagement and classroom policies will be discussed, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Mike Meyer from the CTL will lead the session. Please feel free to submit any questions you may have in advance on this document. We hope to see you there.

Register here. Link to the Zoom meeting.


Graduate academic standing and pass/fail option for spring 2020

Dear students,

We hope this email finds you and your family well and that the close of the semester gives you some time to relax and refresh your spirit.

Grades for spring semester have been recorded, and your academic standing has been updated if you are a degree-seeking student. For all classes with a letter grade, you have the option to change those grades to Pass (SCV), Low Pass (LCV), or Fail (ECV) grades. Pass, low pass, and fail grades do not count in your GPA calculation. A limited number of SCV grades may be allowed to count toward your degree, with the approval of your graduate program. Please consult with your advisor and graduate program director to determine what options will best support your academic progress.  Additional information is available online.

The option to change your letter grade to Pass (SCV), Low Pass (LCV), or Fail (ECV) will be available on Banweb from 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 12. To change your grade from the letter grade earned to SCV, LCV, or ECV:  

  • Go to Banweb and click on the Student tab  
  • Then click the Student Records link  
  • Finally, select the COVID-19 Pass/Fail Grade link 

The Graduate School has put a hold on processes to place students on academic probation or academic suspension for spring 2020. The decision to change your grades to pass/fail may impact your academic standing by changing your cumulative GPA. As a result, your academic standing as shown on MyMichiganTech may not be correct until after May 12. On May 13, the Graduate School will carefully review your academic record and update it as follows for all degree-seeking students:

  • If you were on probation after fall 2019, and you have returned to good standing, your record will be updated to good standing.
  • If you were on probation after fall 2019, and you have not returned to good standing, you will remain on probation. No student will be suspended based on their spring 2020 academic standing.
  • If you were in good standing after fall 2019, or are a new student in spring 2020, you will be in good standing, regardless of the grades earned in spring 2020.

If you have any questions about your academic standing or related to degree completion, please reach out to the Graduate School. We want to hear from you and we’re here to help.

Be well and keep in touch,

Michigan Tech Graduate School