Graduate Studies Council

Role statement

The Graduate Studies Council reviews, develops, and recommends policy regarding graduate education at Western Michigan University. Policy recommendations shall include, but are not limited to, the admission of applicants to the Graduate College and to graduate degree programs, development of graduate curricula and approval of graduate programs, selection of graduate faculty, awards and fellowships and graduate student personnel practices. Reviews shall include, but are not limited to, existing programs, proposed new programs, significant program changes and academic standards of graduate level programs. The work of the council is accomplished through standing and ad hoc committees which act on behalf of the council, within the framework of its policies, subject to review by the council.

Council Standing Committees 

  1. Agenda Subcommittee—prepares the agenda for meetings of the Graduate Studies Council.
  2. All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholars Award Subcommittee—reviews applications and makes recommendations as to the recipients of All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholars Awards.
  3. All-University Graduate Student Teaching Effectiveness Award Subcommittee—reviews applications and makes recommendations as to the recipients of All-University Graduate Student Teaching Effectiveness Awards.
  4. Transfer of Credit Subcommittee—reviews transfer policies and procedures.

Charges 2019-20

In addition to the specific responsibilities listed in the Graduate Studies Council’s role statement and the work of subcommittees if such exist, the Faculty Senate Executive Board charges the GSC to consider, as a committee of the whole or through the appropriate subcommittee or task force, the following issues:

  1. Review the scope and description of the council’s role statement and assess the effectiveness of the council’s practices. Address any continuing or outstanding issues or initiatives as directed by the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
  2. Solicit, review, and award the All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholar Awards, and the All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards, and other means to promote excellence in graduate education at WMU.
  3. Complete review of graduate education policies, procedures, and forms to ensure they are supportive of student success, including procedures that would allow programs to more widely use prior learning assessments and develop MOAs.
  4. Review current practices and develop recommendations regarding graduate University issued certificates.
  5. Consider and review best practices as well as recommend procedures to award academic credit for professional/industry experience for non-traditional students wishing to obtain a Master's degree.
  6. In consultation with the Office of Service Learning, develop a process to ensure graduate courses meet this designation.
  7. Investigate the status and performance of the Research and Creative Activities Day.

Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Board on Aut. 23, 2018

NOTE: The GSC will seek information from the Graduate College and related administrative offices to maintain communications with those offices on issues directly related to them. Council recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Board in the form of a memorandum of action (MOA) on which the recommendation(s) is/are stated. Any draft MOAs requested by the Executive Board should be submitted using the MOA template.

The GSC chairperson shall provide a written report of the council's accomplishments and progress for the year; list the above charges noting each item's progress and current status; any other activities undertaken; and draft charges for the 2020-21 academic year, no later than June 30, 2020.

Click here for a printable version of the GSC 2019-20 Charges