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Types of InterDisciplinary (Graduate) Programs (IDPs) 1: Unique to each individual student; designed by the student. 2: Approved, faculty-designed program.

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Presentation on theme: "Types of InterDisciplinary (Graduate) Programs (IDPs) 1: Unique to each individual student; designed by the student. 2: Approved, faculty-designed program."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types of InterDisciplinary (Graduate) Programs (IDPs) 1: Unique to each individual student; designed by the student. 2: Approved, faculty-designed program crossing boundaries of academic units/departments 3: Collaborative/Supplementary – students must be in a graduate degree program to be admitted to this, which adds to their program 4: Non-degree – diploma, certificate, 5 Other

2 Session arrangement Overview of results of CAGS’s first survey on types of interdisciplinary programs Focus on individual programs (Type 1) – Ketra Schmitt, Concordia – Laura Bisaillon, Ottawa/Toronto-Scarborough Focus on Type 2 programs – Help on definition?! – Discussion about second survey questions

3 Response rates by region WSONQCATTotal Sent Responded Response %65%75%64%63%68%

4 Prevalence of IDP types WSONQCATTotal # Responses Individual Type Supplementary Non-degree Other32106

5 Quartiles by university size Used 2010 graduate student enrolment (headcount) from PSIS, divided into quartiles for the 59 universities receiving the first survey Largest fifteen, 14,820 to 3987 – Toronto to McMaster Second largest fifteen, 3900 to 1530 – Queen’s to Brock Third largest fifteen, 1494 to 525 – Wilfrid Laurier to Lethbridge Smallest fourteen, 519 to 0 – INRS to Trinity Western

6 Response rates by university size quartiles quartilelargestsecondthirdsmallest sent15 14 responded %93%87%40%50%

7 IDP types by university size quartiles Quartilelargestsecondthirdsmallesttotal # Responses Individual Type Supplementary Non-degree Other42006

8 Responses from smaller universities “This [interdisciplinary graduate program] is all we do. We have a limited M.Sc. program …. Each program of study is essentially individually designed to meet student and supervisory committee goals and desired outcomes.” “The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program is research-oriented and offered in six multidisciplinary areas of study in the sciences.” To what extent do these responses indicate an adaptation to limited faculty resources?

9 Typology from U de Montréal A: Programme appartenant à une seule unité avec une banque de cours optionnels unidisciplinaires dans une ou plusieurs autres unités B: Programme appartenant à une seule unité mais comportant au moins un cours unidisciplinaire obligatoire dans une autre unité C: Programme appartenant à une seule unité mais comportant au moins un cours interdisciplinaire obligatoire D: Programme de recherche appartenant à une seule unité dont certains directeurs de recherche proviennent de d'autres unités. E: Programme conjoint avec une offre de cours obligatoires et optionnels de chaque institution F: Programme conjoint avec des cours obligatoires unidisciplinaires de plusieurs unités et au moins un cours interdisciplinaire obligatoire G: Programme conjoint avec une offre de cours obligatoires de Médecine et de cours optionnels de chaque institution

10 McMaster Taskforce on Interdisciplinary Programs Covered undergraduate as well as graduate Reported December 2011 Seven key issues addressed – Governance – Organization – Financial support – Space – Policy – Programming – Recognition & Credit Report available at –

11 Over to Ketra and Laura

12 Type 2 Improve definition Approval hurdles Administrative placement Advantages and disadvantages

13 Definitional problems What is interdisciplinary at one institution may be, if not a discipline, at least a department or even a Faculty at another – for example Environmental Science or Studies. Changed wording from ‘discipline’ to ‘academic unit’.

14 Working definition of Type 2 IDPs Faculty members from two or more disciplines academic units come together to design a specific coherent, stand- alone, interdisciplinary graduate degree program with an appropriate set of courses and requirements “to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single” discipline academic unit. Students register directly in this program. This program proposal has then proceeded through internal university approvals (and in some cases provincial approval as well). Usually these programs admit a number of students each year directly to the interdisciplinary program This program has received all internal university approvals (and in some cases provincial approval as well).

15 Approvals Process When a new IDP is proposed that will cross academic boundaries, which of the following university approvals need to be obtained before it can be offered? (Please check all that apply.) ☐ approval by all Departments that will be involved ☐ approval by the highest decision-making body of each academic Faculty that will be involved ☐ approval by Department chairs whose faculty will be involved ☐ approval by Faculty deans whose resources will be involved ☐ approval by Graduate Council ☐ approval by the University Senate ☐ new programs can be offered simply with the Graduate Dean’s approval ☐ new programs can be offered for a limited time simply with the Graduate Dean’s approval ☐ other (please specify)

16 Administrative Placement What administrative practices are in place at your university for the IDPs that cross (or crossed) existing administrative boundaries, whether these are departmental boundaries within a Faculty, or cross- Faculty? (Again, check all that apply, considering the full range of IDPs at your institution.) One or more IDPs report ☐ directly to the Provost ☐ to the Dean of Graduate Studies ☐ to a Faculty dean ☐ to an oversight committee of deans ☐ to a department chair ☐ to an oversight committee of department chairs ☐ to an oversight committee consisting of both chairs and dean(s) ☐ to an institute or research centre ☐ other (please describe)

17 Financial Matters How is the faculty involvement in the program supported? ☐ home departments are paid for a faculty member’s released time – If so, at what level? (e.g. full cost, or sessional replacement cost) ☐ faculty are paid overload for their involvement ☐ faculty are appointed directly to the IDP, or as a joint appointment ☐ other (please describe]

18 Other Financial Matters What form or amount of direct administrative support does an IDP receive at your university, and from whom does it come? How does your institution handle the space needs or wants of a new IDP? On what basis does an IDP receive income to cover its costs? – based on student numbers, recent or current – based on an arbitrary lump sum amount – other (Please describe)

19 Issues Internal to the IDP Pedagogical aspects of an IDP – Developing a common language, or at least the ability to communicate across the boundaries – Integration of knowledge from multiple disciplines, – Novel approaches to teaching or assessing learning outcomes A program committee of faculty members associated with the IDP?


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