GradDegree+: A Graduate Student's Professional Tool-Kit



GradDegree+ is an avenue for graduate students to develop and refine transferable skills highly sought by employers. Students build their own personalized GradDegree+ toolkit by completing modular tracks (Leadership, Communication, Pedagogical Theory, etc.) that can stand alone or be combined with additional tracks to undergird degree program content and skills gained in research and teaching.  

Courses such as "Basics of Leadership," "Managing Conflict," and "Organizational Ethics" aid graduate students in becoming well-rounded professionals while in graduate school and prepare them to succeed in whatever path(s) they choose beyond graduate school.

To apply for the 2019-2020 GradDegree+ Professional Development cohort, please complete the application form linked below. Participants must attend a required GradDegree+ orientation from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4th in B108-C of William T. Young Library.

Apply here:

Tracks are:

  1. Communication;
  2. Creative Problem-Solving;
  3. Diversity;
  4. Leadership;
  5. Pedagogical Development; and
  6. Professional Computing.

In addition to in-depth track content, workshops will provide students with opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary networking and develop individualized pivot development plans.

GradDegree+ Program Requirements (complete all)

Requirement Duration (in actual hours) Description
Statement of Responsibility Self-Paced Web-Based
Orientation: The Art & Science of Learning 2:30 pm-4:30 pm, Sept. 4, 2019 in B-108C Multipurpose Room of William T. Young Library In this required orientation to the GradDegree+,  participants accepted into the 2019-2020 cohort will come together to discuss their goals and outcomes for the program and receive further instructions on enrolling in the courses. 

Communication Track Components (complete three)

Component Venue
Communicating across Cultures Classroom
Communicating with Success Classroom
Presenting Effectively Classroom
Principles of Business Writing Web-based

Creative Problem-Solving Track Components (complete three)

Component Venue
Deciding to Doing Classroom
Using Time Wisely Web-based
Facing the Challenge of Change Classroom
Liberating Structures: Tools to Drive Excellence, Inclusion, & Innovation Classroom

Diversity Track Components (complete three)

Component Venue
Basics of Diversity Classroom
Unconscious Bias  Classroom
Generations in the Workplace Classroom
Personality Differences Classroom

Leadership Track Components (complete three)

Component Venue
Basics of Leadership Classroom
Managing Conflict Classroom
Organizational Ethics Classroom
Developing a Winning Image Classroom

Pedagogical Development Track Components (This track is delivered by CELT in coordination with The Graduate School)

The Pedagogical Development Track is for graduate students interested in developing and improving their pedagogical approach while also identifying and expanding upon skills used in teaching that are transferable beyond academia.

The Pedagogical Development Track for the 2019-2020 academic year will focus on "Teaching First-Year Students." Each academic year will focus on a new theme in teaching and learning pedagogical practices. Future themes will foundations of instructional practice, innovative pedagogies, and digital pedagogies, thus the Pedagogical Development Track is repeatable for each theme.

Fall and Spring workshop topics, dates, times, and location are listed below.

Contact Dr. Ashley Sorrell, CELT faculty instructional consultant and assistant director of Graduate Student Professional Enhancement, if you have further questions about this track.

The Pedagogical Development Track is for graduate students interested in developing and improving their pedagogical approach while also identifying and expanding upon skills used in teaching that are transferable beyond academia.

Component Venue

Generation Z at UK 

First-year students are a part of what is known as “Generation Z.” In this workshop, we will discuss how societal factors shaped this generation’s understanding of the purpose of a college education, approaches to learning, and the challenges and opportunities this generation brings to our teaching. Being careful to not provide over generalizations to a population, the workshop will also provide other demographic data so that we can best get to know our student population through an intersectional lens. 


Study Room 1, Lucille Little Fine Arts Library

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 3:00-4:15 p.m.

First-Year Student Assumptions and Instructor Expectations: A Failure to Communicate? 

The transition from high school to college is challenging for first-year students. Much of this challenge is in not knowing what to expect in the college classroom. This workshop asks us to evaluate the assumptions first-year students may make about succeeding in the college classroom and how these assumptions may not align with our expectations as instructors. Participants will analyze how they can make their expectations more transparent to students whose assumptions may misalign with classroom learning outcomes and goals. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

“I’m here because it’s required”: Understanding the Role of Motivation in First-Year Student Engagement

Motivating students in first-year required courses is an obstacle many of us face as instructors. This workshop will introduce participants to models of motivation as they relate to the university classroom. Participants will discuss how strategies of motivation might apply in the context of their courses. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Fostering Academic Resilience in First-Year Students

Students can often feel discouraged in their performance during the first semester (or year) of college. Receiving that first C or lower may come as a surprise for students who received As and Bs with little effort in high school. This workshop will look at the concept of academic resilience and discuss ways instructors can foster a resilient mindset in first-year students. 


Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Technically Speaking to the Digital Generation: Deciding When and If Technology-Enhanced Teaching is Right For You

Generation Z has come of age in a technological world where mobile access to the internet and one another has always been available. What does this mean for our instructional practices? What are the pedagogical considerations we should consider when deciding if and when to use technology to enhance learning? This workshop will walk participants through a backwards design approach of deciding how and which technological tools can engage digital generation. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Professional Computing Track Components (complete three)

If you know the basics in some of these programs and would like to take more advanced computing courses, you may do so from the selections offered by HR Training and Development.

Component Venue
Access: Introduction Classroom
Acrobat Pro: Introduction Classroom
Captivate: Introduction Classroom
Excel: Introduction Classroom
One Note: Introduction Classroom
Outlook: Introduction Classroom
PowerPoint: Introduction Classroom

A full list of HR Training & Development's course offerings is available here.

Program requirements may change over time. Contact Chad Gilpin if you have questions. If a workshop is not listed in the tracks above, but you wish to request it be considered for credit, please ask. The Graduate School reserves the right to count or not count requested courses as it deems appropriate.

Brought to you by The Graduate School Office of Professional EnhancementThe Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT)The College of Arts and Sciences' Careers Beyond the Professoriate, and UK Human Resources Training & Development