By the Numbers: Strategic Plan Aim 2: Advance the field by bridging research and practice in our graduate programs

Monday, June 13, 2022 - 9:00am

During 2021-2022, the college focused on the development of additional curriculum to support our graduate programs.  The graduate committee developed a proposal for an online Ph.D. program in strategic communications targeted at working professionals. The program was evaluated by an external market research company, which conducted a marketing analysis of demand for the program. Their report demonstrated great promise for the viability of the proposal.   

The college also developed and passed two 4+1 master’s degree programs, one in integrated media communications and one in professional journalism. Beginning in fall 2022, these programs will allow juniors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher who have completed at least 75 hours in their undergraduate degree, to enroll in the program and transition seamlessly into our master’s program and graduate with a bachelor’s and master's degree in five years.   

To assess student learning in our graduate programs, we launched a senior exit survey for graduate students. The survey was developed in fall 2021 and first administered in spring 2022. Data from the survey is already providing information to inform future adjustments to our programs.   

To enhance the graduate student experience, the college began work on a unified Canvas course that provides access to graduation requirements, academic policies, forms and procedures for each of the college’s graduate programs.   


Start (20-21) 


Goal (25-26) 

Increase graduate enrollment by 20%[1] 




Increase graduate course offerings by 10%[2] 




Increase funding for 6 additional graduate students[3] 




100% of faculty teaching online courses will have completed training[4] 





[1] Graduate Enrollment is drawn from the UNL IEA data index. 

[2] Graduate course offerings are calculated using the UNL IEA course fill report and including all non-canceled graduate sections listed in the report. 

[3] The count of graduate assistants is provided by the CoJMC graduate student services coordinator. 

[4] Online course training completion is provided by the CTT instructional designer assigned to the college. 

Review of the targets 

The college increased on all metrics related to Aim 2 where data is available. Teaching data will be available after the 2022 summer sessions.  
Graduate enrollment increased in 21-22. However, the college had large graduating classes in 21-22 and current applications and enrollments for fall 2022 are down. Increased efforts to recruit graduate students will be needed to maintain and increase enrollment. 
The increase in graduate assistants is supported by non-recurring cash funding through the University of Nebraska Foundation. The college’s state-aided budget can only support 5 graduate assistants. Recurring foundation funding can support an additional three graduate assistants. To maintain or increase graduate student support the college will to identify new sources of funding.