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Faculty/Staff Toolkit for Annual Review of Graduate Students

Student Progress iconStarting Fall 2012, a Graduate College policy will go in effect that will require graduate programs to conduct annual academic progress reviews of all graduate students enrolled in degree-seeking programs, including degree seeking students in online programs. A written copy of the review must be given to the student and be placed in the student’s academic file. Ideally, academic progress reviews should include the following elements:

  • A student self-report and assessment of academic progress
  • A review prepared by the adviser and at least one other faculty member to focus on an assessment of degree progress and student strengths and weaknesses. A copy of this written review is given to the student.
  • An opportunity for the student to discuss this review in person.

The resources below are provided to help programs develop unit specific review procedures.

Benefits of Annual Academic Progress Reviews

An annual review helps the student progress successfully through the graduate program by allowing timely diagnosis of deficiencies, clarification of expectations for academic performance, and identification of opportunities for improvement. In addition, the Graduate College requires that a graduate student be making satisfactory academic progress to hold an assistantship.

Reporting

Graduate Programs are required to report back to the Graduate College on the procedures and outcomes of their Annual Academic Progress Review. The reporting form is available at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/2223112. Please submit this form to the Graduate College once per academic year.

Descriptions of Procedures for Annual Academic Progress Reviews

Because units vary in size and structure, units are free to design their own review procedures as long as they adhere to the minimal requirements stated at the top of the page.  In addition, all categories of students within a unit must be reviewed according to the same procedures (for instance, all MA/MS students receive the same review, but Ph.D. students in the unit can be reviewed according to different procedures and criteria). The Graduate College strongly advises units to make a description of the unit’s procedures for Annual Academic Progress Reviews available to students and faculty in their unit.  It is also a best practice to describe what a given unit considers to be progress toward the degree.

Sample Forms

Annual reviews typically include a student’s self report and self-assessment of their academic progress as well as a list of mitigating factors (if any).  Units typically review a student’s completion of specific program requirements, such as coursework, foreign language proficiency and program milestones (comprehensive, qualifying, and preliminary examinations, etc.)  Units can also select to include other departmental expectations in their review, for example, publications, presentations, fellowships, grants, etc. It is also a good practice to include academic goals for the next years. Please note that teaching can only be included in the evaluation if it is a program requirement. Otherwise, teaching performance needs to be evaluated according to the GEO contract.

Thank you to the units who provided the following samples.

Graduate College and Departmental Probation

  • Graduate College Probation Policy
  • If a program wishes to place a student on departmental probation or dismiss a student from the program, please consult with Assistant Dean Anne Kopera.