Learning Communities of Graduates for Advancing Professional Skills (GAPS): Integrate Professional Skill Training with Thesis Research

By Shan Jiang, PI

PI Meeting Poster
Feb 29-March 1, 2024

View Project Poster here

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Learn more with ISU’s GAPS

Project Overview

Iowa State University is establishing sustainable learning communities of Graduates for Advancing Professional Skills (GAPS) and designing a new framework of training that adapts the project management skills from industry to academic research.

Studies suggest that current graduate education focuses too narrowly on thesis research, and graduate students are not well prepared with skills for future work in industry or the academy. However, limited resources and lack of faculty support prevent students from committing to skill training. To address these challenges, this program is developing innovative training approaches to help students learn and practice project management skills.

GAPS Goals

  • Improve professional skill training for graduate students
  • Implement and retain professional skills through thesis research
  • Establish a graduate learning community and share with our learning experience



Fall 2022 Student Testimonials

GAPS program testimonials celebrate student achievement, help to recruit and retain students from diverse disciplines, and offer peer commentary on the program.