Exciting Year for the Research and Global Issues Committee

The Mission of NAGAP is to support, advance and engage graduate enrollment professionals by promoting integrity, excellence and collaboration through education and professional development.

This is an exciting year for the Research and Global Issues Committee. Over the next few years we are looking to expand the research conducted by our committee, focusing our efforts on research to both expand our members knowledgebase and assist with developing best practices across GEM. While we move into the final phase of projects like our “Defining Graduate Enrollment,” which we began almost 2 years ago, we are also launching new projects focused on retention and student success. Not to worry though, the research committee will also continue to conduct the Salary Survey (launching in January!) as well as regular membership surveys to ensure NAGAP is meeting your needs and addressing your concerns. Here is a bit about the projects we are currently working on:
Defining GEM:
During the last few years, the Research Committee has aimed to define graduate enrollment management and develop models to show the interactions that occur within GEM offices across diverse institutional types. Following up on previous research to define GEM and create models, the Committee is now working to develop case studies based on institutions that are currently utilizing the models. The Committee is looking to include a variety of different institution types and levels of execution to show the scalability and flexibility of the GEM models. These case studies should help to move the conversation about GEM from the theoretical realm to the practical in showing how GEM models are currently executed and working within the field.
Retaining Graduate Students:
While a multitude of research exists on the retention of undergraduate students, only a limited number of studies examine retention at the graduate level. Our committee seeks to pilot a qualitative study designed to explicitly examine degree completion rates for select graduate programs. By analyzing similar programs across several institutions, the results will identify the existence of any best practices and/or evolving techniques which improve the retention of graduate students. 
Application Indicators for Student Success:
Indicators such as GPA and GRE are common focal points when considering potential success within a program during the admissions process, however applications are rich with student data that often is underused and can be overlooked. Utilizing topic modeling, our committee will pilot a study analyzing a collection of personal statements from applications submitted by accepted students to two graduate programs. By analyzing unstructured text and qualitative data compared against indicators of success, we will gain knowledge regarding how these data can be effectively used during the admissions process to help identify students who can excel within the program.
Matt Cipriano
Research and Global Issues Committee, Chair