G.R.A.D. Aggies provides professional development opportunities that help you find success in your graduate or professional program, on the job market, and in your professional career.
Achieve Your Goals with the Help of G.R.A.D. Aggies
Participate in professional development activities and training to enhance your success as you pursue a degree and prepare you for professional life after graduate school.
G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Certificates
Demonstrate to potential employers that you are prepared for the professional world. Through our certificate program, you can highlight your participation in professional development activities to enhance your CV or resume. Certificate recipients are honored every April with the annual G.R.A.D. Aggies Certificate Ceremony.
How to Earn a G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Certificate
As a participant in the G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Certificate Program, you may earn credits, or Professional Development Units (PDUs), toward your certificate by attending approved events and completing the corresponding written reflections. A certificate requires 6 PDUs.
Find Events to Earn Professional Development Units (PDUs)
To find events that count toward a G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Certificate. please visit our calendar. One-hour sessions generally earn 1 PDU. Check listings in the G.R.A.D. Aggies Calendar for their PDU values.
NOTE: Some collaborators offer 1-hour 1:1 consultations and advising as a part of the G.R.A.D. Aggies Certificate Program. For the purpose of the G.R.A.D. Aggies Certificate program, a maximum of 1 PDU from 1:1 appointments may be used per collaborator per professional development certificate level. See the consultation event description in the G.R.A.D. Aggies Calendar or email email@example.com for more information.
Certificate Levels and Requirements
- Earn 6 Professional Development Units (PDUs) through attending G.R.A.D. Aggies approved events.
- Complete the appropriate reflection quiz on our certificate site within one month of attending each event.
- Submit a final certificate reflection.
- After earning the basic-level certificate, students become eligible to complete an intermediate level certificate.
- Earn 6 additional PDUs, on top of those accumulated for the basic-level certificate, through attending G.R.A.D. Aggies approved events.
- Complete the appropriate reflection quiz in our Certificate site within one month of attending each event.
- Submit a final certificate reflection.
- After earning the basic and intermediate level certificates, students become eligible to complete an advanced level certificate.
Completing the advanced certificate allows students to demonstrate accomplishments achieved through the G.R.A.D. Aggies program related to skills needed to succeed after graduation. Students must meet the following three (3) requirements to earn the advanced certificate:
- Earn an additional 2 PDUs.
- Participate in an activity that emphasizes one of the Skill Areas of G.R.A.D. Aggies. Below are examples of activities that will fulfill this requirement. (Please note that these activities DO NOT earn the 2 extra PDUs.) Please submit your advanced activity idea here for pre-approval.
- Earn a CIRTL@TAMU Practitioner (i.e., College Classroom Teaching Course) or Scholar certificate (i.e., Teaching As Research Fellows). NOTE: CIRTL@TAMU Associate certificates (e.g. Academy for Future Faculty) do not qualify as advanced certificate activities, as they earn PDUs.
- Lead/organize a TAMU student organization on Campus.
- Participate as a Leader in the Aggie Research Leadership Program (ARP).
- Serve as a Mentor in the Texas A&M Engineering Graduate Peer Mentor Program.
- Complete the certificate reflection in our Certificate site. This reflection will ask what you learned from the entire program and what your plans are for continuing professional development.
G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Skill Areas
The G.R.A.D. Aggies program has identified several Skill Areas and learning outcomes key to your success. Please explore the Skill Areas below and to identify your mastery level and areas that you would like to focus on developing.
Depending on sessions you attend, you will acquire the knowledge and skills listed below each skill:
Personal Wellbeing Skills and Learning Outcomes
- Identify, evaluate and use resources that support personal wellbeing
- Recognize the value of maintaining support networks
- Understand how to identify and manage anxiety and stress
- Understand and apply strategies to address imposter syndrome
- Understand the value of a lifestyle that promotes physical health
- Describe holistic financial planning and the concept of financial literacy
- Articulate how to create a personal budget and calculate and increase personal wealth
- Describe the types and appropriate usages of debt and how to improve credit
- Explain how to prepare financially for post-graduation success, including understanding the financial components of a job offer
- Describe and evaluate different financial decisions, including student loans, car buying, home buying, retirement planning and investment types
Research and Academic Skills
- Understand tools to find funding opportunities
- Understand the components of successful funding proposals and applications
- Perform and organize literature reviews
- Recognize their role as consumers, producers, and creators of information
- Identify, find, evaluate, create and ethically use information in their academic pursuits, in their future careers, and as life-long learners
- Describe best practices in research data management, data archiving and sharing, copyright and fair use, and citation management
Instruction & Assessment Skills
- Describe how to access the literature and existing knowledge about teaching and learning issues, in a subject, discipline, or more broadly
- Discuss evidence-based instructional practices, including the role of technology, in supporting student learning
- Identify and explain personal beliefs and reasonings about teaching
- Discuss formative and summative assessment techniques
- Describe techniques for building an inclusive learning community in the college classroom
- Develop specific, realistic goals for the effective management of graduate-level writing projects
- Locate useful writing and oral communication resources (on-campus and virtual)
- Describe general conventions of academic writing and discourse
- Identify the conventions of academic writing and discourse within their specific discipline
- Identify ways to revise their own writing at the sentence, paragraph and document levels
- Articulate ways to integrate source information in graduate-level writing projects
- Enhance decision-making ability
- Develop strategies for managing time and priorities
- Cultivate self-awareness
- Adopt a leadership-style authentic to one’s self
- Understand the purpose and value of mentorship, both as a mentor and mentee
- Integrate integrity into all aspects of life, including their career and academic pursuits
- Foster the ability to collaborate with others
- Utilize effective strategies for managing conflict
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Development Skills
- Understand the connections between diversity, equity and inclusion in both academics and the workforce
- Understand how diversity of backgrounds, experiences and skills are critical to enhancing learning and meeting the demands of a global workforce
- Recognize their own cultural and professional biases and privileges
- Cultivate the ability to listen without judgment
- Seek to understand those who feel marginalized
- Identify ways to be inclusive in professional and academic settings and practices
- Treat individuals of all cultures and backgrounds with dignity and respect
Career Development Skills
- Use Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and Career Center resources to identify and explore academic and non-academic career options
- Identify and translate relevant skills and knowledge gained through research and experience to enhance marketability with employers
- Describe and tailor their career stories to potential employers, collaborators, funders, and other stakeholders
- Use networking resources and strategies to build a professional network for use during career exploration and job search process
- Understand Career Center resources and strategies for an effective job search
- Create tailored career documents and professional correspondence to demonstrate their interest and relevant experience to a potential employer
- Prepare for and communicate effectively during professional interviews
G.R.A.D. AGGIES PARTNERS
The following partners offer workshops, seminars, training events and online resources every semester as part of the G.R.A.D. Aggies program. Each one concentrates in one to two skill areas, so you can attain a diverse set of transferrable skills. The list of contributors continues to grow, so be sure to check the G.R.A.D. Aggies Calendar for new events.
- Aggie Honor System
- Career Center – Founding Partner
- Center for Teaching Excellence – Founding Partner
- Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL@TAMU)
- Counseling & Psychological Services – Founding Partner
- Graduate and Professional School – Founding Partner
- Graduate and Professional Student Government – Founding Partner
- International Student Services – Founding Partner
- Money Education Center – Founding Partner
- Research Development Services
- University Libraries – Founding Partner
- University Writing Center – Founding Partner
FUNDING SUPPORT FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Graduate and Professional School provides several ways for graduate and professional students to receive financial support for their professional development endeavors.
Three Minute Thesis Competition
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). Graduate students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance to a non-specialist audience.
At Texas A&M, the 3MT competition is hosted by the Graduate and Professional School and is part of the G.R.A.D. Aggies Program. Leading up to the competition, we offer development sessions and a preliminary round where judges give feedback. The winner of the Texas A&M 3MT final competition represents Texas A&M at the regional competition held each spring at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools' Annual Meeting.
Learn more about our 3MT Competition!