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GPCI - Graduate and Professional Community Initiative

Summary: 

The Graduate and Professional Community Initiative 2013 (GPCI) is a strategic plan created by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, to identify and address issues related to graduate and professional student life.

The GPCI includes eight focus areas to address the wide range of interests expressed by graduate and professional students.

  • Graduate and Professional Student Center
  • Career Resources
  • Mental Health & Well-being
  • Diversity and International Students
  • Family Services
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Sense of Community

Each focus area includes objectives and actionable steps that GPSA identified to improve the graduate and professional student experience.

In response to the GPCI, the Dean of the Graduate School convened eight committees composed of students and staff from across campus to address each of these focus areas. In October 2016, the Dean provided a summary of progress on GPCI-related issues. Intended as a 5-year plan, the GPSA will develop a revised GPCI document in 2017-2108.

Download the full Spring 2018 summary progress report here.

In Depth

In March, 2007, the GPSA presented the “Vision Statement for a Graduate Community Initiative” to the Board of Trustees. A Task Force was convened to determine next steps, but the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 followed by a global recession sidelined the efforts. The Task Force was dissolved, but the 2007 GCI remained a key component in GPSA efforts and some progress was made as the economy improved.

In 2012, the GPSA revisited the 2007 GCI through an Ad Hoc Committee and with the input of hundreds of graduate and professional students in numerous forums. The Committee identified key issues and made them actionable.

The GPCI produced in 2013 is a framework for strategic discussions to identify and address issues related to graduate and professional student life. Given the interconnected nature of the unique challenges graduate and professional students face, the GPCI was designed to provide an integrated and proactive vision that would guide Cornell to direct, support, and protect efforts that facilitate a cohesive student community. Issues were divided into eight thematic areas (see above) with descriptions of the challenges, objectives, and action items.

In consultation with the GPSA, the Dean of the Graduate School convened eight committees composed of students and staff from across campus to address each of these focus areas. In October 2016, the Dean provided a summary of progress on GPCI-related issues with accomplishments in all areas.

Key Improvements:

  • Graduate and Professional Student Center - Big Red Barn $1.2 million renovation, expanded event programming for students.
  • Career Resources – Graduate and international career advisor hired, future faculty and non-academic careers programs established.
  • Mental Health & Well-being – Increased graduate student specific counseling programs and sexual violence prevention.
  • Diversity and International Students – Leadership Council created and English Language Support Office established.
  • Family Services – Maternity/paternity leave (parental accommodation) policies made more visible, child care grant program expanded.
  • Housing – Maplewood redevelopment and expansion underway.
  • Transportation – Lower-cost graduate student commuter parking permit established for B-lot.
  • Sense of Community - Academic and fellowship application writing support programs established, including boot camps, writing retreats, and writing groups.

Download the full Spring 2018 summary progress report here.

Contact: 

Jan Allen
Associate dean for academic and student affairs
jan.allen@cornell.edu