Student Progress Review
The Student Progress Review (SPR) requirement was implemented in 2017 at the request of students and faculty to support the regular exchange of constructive, written feedback between advisees and advisors. It codifies a process for research degree students and their special committees to have at least one formal conversation per year about academic progress and future plans. Using the SPR form, students are asked to reflect on their recent accomplishments, identify challenges, and set goals. Committee chairs then review their students’ SPR forms and enter constructive feedback. Chairs indicate whether progress has been excellent, satisfactory, needs improvement, or is unsatisfactory. Feedback that is documented on the SPR will be made available to the student, all members of the student’s special committee, and the DGS/GFA of the student’s field.
Overview of the SPR Process
Step 1: Each graduate field sets its own timing and annual due dates for the SPR process; fields send students instructions and a link to the SPR form at the appropriate time.
Step 2: Student schedules the SPR meeting with their advisor/chair (some fields may expect that this occur in conjunction with a meeting of the special committee).
Step 3: Student completes their portion of the SPR form. Depending on the field’s practices, the student may submit the form at this point or download a draft version to share with their chair and other special committee members prior to submitting the form through the online system.
Step 4: SPR face-to-face dialog.
Step 5: If the student saved their SPR form as a draft, they may edit the form after meeting with their chair and/or special committee. Upon submission by the student, the form is routed to the special committee chair (after this point the student cannot edit the SPR form unless it is returned to them by their chair).
Step 6: The special committee chair enters written comments and evaluates student progress. Depending on the field’s practices, the chair may incorporate feedback provided by other members of the special committee and graduate field.
Step 7: Contents of the form will be available to the student, the student’s special committee, DGS, and GFA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to complete a SPR?
What is the deadline to complete the SPR?
How long will it take to fill out the SPR form?
Some of the questions on the SPR don't seem relevant to me. What should I do?
Can a student share a draft of the SPR form with their chair/committee prior to electronically signing and submitting the finished form?
Who will see content of the completed SPR form?
Is a SPR needed if students and their advisors already communicate on a regular basis?
In the SPR process, what is the role of the special committee chair?
After reviewing a student’s entries, how can the advisor/chair return the SPR form to the student for further editing?
What categories are used by faculty to evaluate student's overall progress?