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Helping Students Balance Stress
81
integrate into the program’s communities. Such integration
is an important predictor of degree progress and completion.
For most of your students, graduate school is their first
exposure to professional scholarship. Therefore, even if the
bureaucratic procedures are so familiar to you that they
seem simple, they can be daunting for graduate students
who feel that they hear conflicting messages about
everything from paperwork deadlines to field requirements.
Make sure you have the most recent copies of your
program’s and graduate school’s guidelines. Introduce
students to “unwritten” or vague rules of graduate
education, including expectations about funding, publishing,
coursework, and program timelines.
(7) Providing honest, supportive, timely and detailed
feedback
It is important that graduate students are treated as
professionals by the faculty. Students who are treated as
“junior colleagues” are more likely to complete their degrees
than those who feel they are treated as “adolescents”
(Herzig, 2004). Treating students with respect, fairness, and
objectivity—especially when their work may not be meeting
expectations—is critical to their success.
Respectful academicians will read a student’s work and
return it to him or her expeditiously with comments that
show they have engaged with the student’s ideas. They are
either supportive of the direction the student is taking and, if
not, are constructive with their feedback.