The remarkable expansion of science and technology into our society over the last several decades have created an exciting landscape of career opportunities for students trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). During this time, STEM graduate education has continued to rely largely on traditional learning models. These learning models historically have not emphasized professional skills development and career exploration, now recognized as key to long-term career success in STEM fields. Many institutions encourage students to address career and professional development needs through optional extra-curricular opportunities. The sporadic nature of these opportunities makes it difficult for students and faculty to learn about programs and to use them for effective learning. Moreover, when professional development and career exploration are not intentionally built into the arc of graduate training and assessed for effectiveness, graduate programs risk poor use of resources and an inconsistent training experience.
The University of Michigan developed an adaptive professional training (APT) system that gathered opportunities across the institution from different levels (e.g. department, college, university, external) into a single system. The data and knowledge gained from the system will help to guide skill development for graduate students.
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