HDFS Annual Review of Graduate Students (ARGS)

Purpose and Goals

All enrolled students are required to participate in the ARGS. The process is designed with the following goals in mind:

  • The process will help communicate to students the types of accomplishments and learning/professional development experiences that are valued by the department.
  • The review by non-advisor faculty of students’ materials will increase faculty awareness of our students, with the goal of increasing the sense of departmental community and potential for “networking” within our department. In addition, various mentoring strategies will be modeled.
  • The documentation and reflection on goals that students will be asked to engage in will encourage students to be deliberate, strategic and goal-oriented in their activities.
  • The process of documenting accomplishments and regularly updating one’s vita is important professional development.
  • The yearly reports will provide data necessary for ongoing assessment and quality improvement of our Graduate Program.

Components of Annual Review

1. Successful and timely completion of academic benchmarks (e.g., prelims, coursework, proposal meetings).

2. Professional accomplishments in research, teaching, outreach/practice, service, and learning.

3. In-process research, teaching, outreach/practice, service, and learning.

4. Update on goals procedures for the ARGS

Step One: ARGS Report Form and CV

Students complete an updated curriculum vitae, transcript (unofficial), and ARGS Report Form. These documents are submitted to the student’s major advisor by the designated date.

Step Two: Faculty and Student Meet

The student sets up a meeting with their major advisor. The purpose of this meeting is to go over the ARGS Report Form, CV, and Transcript and to discuss the students’ progress toward their short and long-term professional goals. Advisors will provide feedback to the student on their CV and the documentation of their accomplishments. This task should be seen by advisors as an opportunity for mentoring each of their advisees with respect to professional development, specifically:

  1. Development of an effective CV
  2. Development of presentation skills related to documentation of professional experiences and accomplishments. (This advising task is often not addressed until the student is ready to “go on the job market”. This annual reflective review process should be invaluable to both the student and the faculty-letter-writer at the time the student seeks employment or other professional experiences),
  3. Advisors are encouraged to also use this opportunity to review student progress and goals in 1:1 meetings with advisees around wider objectives than the narrow goals delineated here.

The Student will then update their materials to incorporate any feedback from their advisor.

Step Three: Submission of Materials by Faculty

  1. Advisors will indicate their approval of the materials by forwarding the student’s ARGS Form, Transcript and CV to the Graduate Program Coordinator.
  2. The Graduate Program Coordinator and GPC Chair will organize the materials in UWBOX and assign each student to a 2 person faculty committee, not including their advisor, with one member designated as the primary reviewer and the other as secondary reviewer.
  3. The Graduate Program Coordinator will prepare a file of HDFS Departmental Summary Of Student Information that will be available and accessible to faculty only. This database will provide data on each student’s cumulative GPA, accomplishment of major benchmarks (date passed prelims, proposal approved, etc.), semesters elapsed since entering degree program, major advisor, etc.
  4. Each faculty member will have access to the file with the HDFS Departmental Summary of Student Information prior to the submission of student materials. Faculty should carefully review the data relevant to each of their own advisees and inform the Department Administrator of any suspected inaccuracies.

Step Four: Faculty Review Process

  1. The student’s two-person review team will read the materials and complete the ARGS Feedback Notes Form together to bring to the annual review meeting.
    • The Feedback Notes form will include draft statements of feedback in the following areas:
      • Statement of progress and performance in the program
      • Fit between student activities and student goals
      • Perceived strengths
      • Perceived weaknesses
      • (optional) Suggestions or guidance
  2. At the annual meeting for student reviews (conducted at the May HDFS faculty meeting), each student will be discussed briefly in order of cohort, with first year students discussed first.
  3. The primary reviewer provides a brief overview of the student and a short discussion occurs as necessary. Additions or changes to the drafted feedback statement are suggested by faculty, including the advisor. The primary faculty reviewer of the 2 person review team will take notes and incorporate the feedback into the final written feedback that will go to the student.
  4. The primary reviewer sends finalized feedback to the GPC chair who oversees the process of sending out formal letters to each student, assuring compliance of reviewers and some consistency in the feedback.
  5. The Graduate Program Coordinator sends confidential letter to student and to the student’s advisor.

Step Five: Student meets with their Faculty Advisor for Post-ARGS Feedback

  1. After the student and advisor receive the feedback letters, they meet to discuss the feedback and complete the Post-ARGS Advising Meeting Form.
  2. The form is then emailed to the Graduate Program Coordinator by the Faculty Advisor, indicating the meeting has occurred and both student and advisor have acknowledged the feedback.
  3. The Graduate Program Coordinator will document the completion of the process and email the student and Advisor if this form is not returned in timely fashion.

HDFS Annual Progress Checklist Form


School of Human Ecology Graduate Programs Handbook Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Holland. All Rights Reserved.

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