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

By Shan Jiang

Iowa State University will establish sustainable learning communities of Graduates for Advancing Professional Skills (GAPS) and design a new framework of training that adapts the project management skills from industry to academic research. The program will address two fundamental education research questions: How can project management skill training be integrated with thesis research in graduate education? What is the role (or value) of learning communities in enhancing the training and retention of professional skills and effectiveness of thesis 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 e program will develop innovative training approaches to help students learn and practice project management skills…



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