Professional Development Opportunities At Brock University

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Professional Development Opportunities At Brock University

Broad range of services and resources

Brock’s Graduate Student Professional Development (GSPD) initiative brings together services from across the campus to support our graduate students. GSPD is comprised primarily of Brock University faculty, graduate students and academic support units interested in promoting and developing a broad range of academic and professional skills in graduate education.

The GSPD partners are here to enhance your teaching and research. As well, we offer many opportunities to prepare you for life and career after Brock.

Grad Plus — adding value to your graduate degree

Throughout the Fall Term we will roll out the new Grad Plus program to support and enhance the educational experience of Brock’s graduate students.

Career guide

To help you with your career planning, a new publication, Navigating Your Career Search — Graduate Student Career Resource Guide (PDF format), was prepared in partnership with Brock’s Career Services and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

FGS Professional Development Workshop Series

Make plans to attend the 2012-13 series — see the list of sessions and details of how to register.

Also, access presentation materials from past workshops.

GSPD partners

Here are some of the other ways in which the GSPD partners can help you at all stages of your studies – each question is a link to opportunities that will make a difference to your success:

• Do you need to familiarize yourself with the range of Library resources and services available to graduate students?

• Do you know your liaison librarian ?

• As a TA, would you like to enhance your classroom management skills?

• Are you interested in taking an Instructional Skills Workshop?

• Would you like to earn a certificate in teaching and learning as a graduate TA?

• Are you working on developing your portfolio? Experience Plus will help you document your co-curricular involvement.

• Are you interested in applying for internal and external scholarships?

• Have you considered registering for Essay-Zone, Brock Learning Skills Services’ online interactive academic writing resource? Register at  or check out this You Tube video introduction.

• Would you like to schedule a workshop on topics such as Literature Reviews, Referencing, Critical Thinking, Persuasive Writing, or Posters and Presentations? Just get a group of four or more students together.

• Do you have questions regarding academic integrity as it pertains to your course work or work as a TA?

• As a new researcher, are you familiar with research ethics?

• Would you like to share your experiences with other graduate students?

• Are you interested in exploring your career options? Access helpful career information and resources by viewing the Degree Exploration Guides and the Career Resource Guide for Graduate Students. Also, visit the Graduate Students page on the Career Services website.

• Would you like to find out when Brock holds its annual fall career fair?

• If you are an international student, would you like to know more about living and studying in Canada?

If you have other questions, feel free to contact various partners directly about additional opportunities. Also, we invite you to share with GSPD partners any suggestions or recommendations about programming that you feel would enhance your graduate experience at Brock University.

GSPD partners – we’re working together to support your Brock graduate experience!

•Faculty of Graduate Studies
Charlotte Sheridan - Associate Director
905-688-5550 x4390
Workshops are offered to graduate students as well as faculty and staff throughout the year. For example, in October, we offer scholarship workshops to help students prepare applications for a variety of awards. Also, a series of professional skills workshops is being held in 2012-13. 

• Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)
Kiel Ormerod – President
905-688-5550 x4094
The GSA is the voice of graduate students and assists students on a number of levels. Our activities help to generate a dynamic graduate community. These activities include working in collaboration with the Faculty of Graduate Studies to hold workshops that focus on academic and professional development.

• Centre for Pedagogical Innovation
Jill Grose - Associate Director
905-688-5550 x3933
The CPI offers three levels of graduate student programming and support in teaching. In addition to our annual TA Orientation, workshops on a variety of issues are offered on Saturdays from September to April. Basic and advanced certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education are awarded for participation in the workshop program. Three-day Instructional Skills Workshops focusing on presentation and feedback skills are available to graduate students three times a year. The third level of professional development, the GTA Practicum, allows graduate students to document their developing skills in teaching through classroom observations and a teaching dossier. Click on “all events” to see those available for graduate student TAs.

• Brock Research
905-688-5550 x5939
Brock Research brings together a multitude of services to support research and creative activity. Check the website regularly for updates on workshops and seminars offered throughout the year.

• Career Services
Kara Hammond, Resource Coordinator & Faculty Liaison
905-688-5550 x5268
Print and online resources are available to help you prepare for academic/non-academic job search. In the Career Resource Centre you will find helpful books and handouts to assist you with developing your CV/Resume, Cover Letter, Letter of Intent, Personal Statements, and Portfolios. The Career Services website also provides you with access to online workshops, job posting boards, interview practice tools, our career/employer events calendar and more! Visit the Graduate Students page on the Career Services website.

• Experience Plus
Pauline Dawson, Plus Programs Manager
905-688-5550 x 4114
Through the Experience Plus program, Career Services offers students the opportunity to develop a co-curricular transcript. The co-curricular transcript will document a variety of activities; including, participation in instructional skills workshops, volunteer work, on-campus employment, awards, certificates and professional development activities. Students may include their Experience Plus transcript when developing a portfolio and use it as a tool when applying for employment, scholarships, funding and further education.

• Brock Libraries 
Laurie Morrison
905-688-5550 x5281
The Library outlines services available specifically for graduate students on its website. The Library also offers general workshops for graduate students on the topics of “Library Resources and Services” and “RefWorks” through CPI’s TA workshop series. In addition, liaison librarians are assigned to every academic department on campus to work specifically with students pursuing degrees offered by those programs. Liaison librarians are happy to work one-to-one with graduate students on discipline-specific research questions.
Advantage Plus, an online course offered through Sakai that contains library content as well as general content on academic learning skills, is also open to graduate students.
• A-Z Learning Services, Student Development Centre
905-688-5550 x5774
Workshops available to graduate students include topics such as Time Management, How to Write an Abstract, Critical Thinking Skills, How to Create a Poster, and others. Graduate students can also order a workshop on a range of topics, such as A Crash Course in Writing Your Science Thesis (three hours), Making Presentations of your Work (one hour), Effective Scientific Writing and Presentations (five two-hour workshops.)
Essay-Zone, Online Interactive Academic Writing Workshop
This workshop is a free service offered by Brock’s Learning Skills Services, Student Development Centre. To register, please contact Margaret Groombridge at
Components of the Online Interactive Writing Workshop include:
• Summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting
• Reference styles (APA and MLA) and academic misconduct
• Research and writing strategies
• Grammar • Writing an academic essay (Introduction, conclusions, paragraphs and organization)
• Explanations, examples and interactive exercises as well as links to available resources

Office of Academic Integrity
Troy Brooks – Academic Integrity Officer
905 688 5550 x5404

At Brock, academic integrity is a core value that supports the University’s academic mission and is connected to every facet of graduate student life. Demonstrating good academic citizenship and understanding how that relates to your role on Brock’s campus is important.

• International Services & Programs Abroad
Arthur Chen, Manager of International Student Services,
905 688 5550 x4318

Workshops offered to International graduate students on Canadian academic culture. Annual workshop for teaching assistants on Working with International Students is offered through the CPI.