Completing the 18 Characteristics of Doctoral Programs Form

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The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires each doctoral program at a public university to provide data on 18 prescribed characteristics. Each doctoral program at The University of Texas at Austin is unique, and persons looking for complete information are urged to consult the program’s Web site and to contact the graduate adviser or graduate coordinator for their chosen program of interest. The official reports will be published each year at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/admissions/characteristics.html.

Overview

The following information describes the data required and the process for preparing and delivering the report to the Graduate School. Some of the data has been compiled in a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office, and conforms to THECB's new 7-Year Program Review criteria.

The focus of the 18 Characteristics reports should be to present data about the doctoral programs of the university from the perspective of the department or program while maintaining as consistent an approach to the data as possible. To that end, uniform data will be provided by the Graduate School and Provost’s Office for all programs, but with the expectation that reports will be adjusted as needed to align university and departmental information where those conflict.

By THECB definition, programs are included only if in existence three or more years and are defined at the 8-digit Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code level.

Completing the Form

Download the report form (.xls) and complete the information for your graduate program per the instructions below. The form lists the 18 characteristics ("Measures") numbered down the left hand side. Some measures require information unavailable from university source systems; data for others will be provided. When data is provided in GSIS, you should copy and paste the GSIS data into your reporting form.  You may include explanatory notes or additional data in the “Comments” field of the report, when necessary, to describe differences in departmental data and the data generated by GSIS. Read the 18 Characteristics Form Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on completing the form.

GSIS Data

Again this year, in a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office, data and statistics have been compiled for many of the 18 characteristics through a consolidation of university internal records. These data and statistics will be posted within the Graduate Student Information System (GSIS) under "Aggregate Reports - 18 Characteristics Reports".  The GSIS data is available at https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/gsi/grad_reporting/review_18c/  Graduate coordinators and graduate advisers have access to GSIS and designated preparers will be granted access upon request.

GSIS reports are a composite of graduate student data currently on file in various university information systems. Programs should vet these data and report back the vetted results, as provided by GSIS.  You may use the “Comments” field to describe differences, if any, between GSIS-produced data and the data maintained within your program or department; however, we ask that you please report these discrepancies to the Graduate School in an e-mail so that we may update our source systems.  GSIS is intended to help programs with this complex and tedious reporting task but is limited by available data and we need your help to improve our shared information resources.

Due Date

Your electronic report to the Graduate School is due Monday, December 1, 2014.  Send your completed spreadsheet as an attachment via email to Danielle Thoma (d.thoma@austin.utexas.edu). Please do not reformat the report or convert to Word or PDF.  Questions may be sent to Danielle Thoma, and they will be shared with the GSIS Team to be answered as soon as possible.

Instructions for Completing the Form

Departmental/Program Items to Complete on Your Own

Information for the following measures is not available from central sources. Please provide the best information that you have available.

  • Enter the name of your doctoral program, the doctoral degree awarded (e.g., PhD, EdD, DMA, etc.), and the Web address (URL) of your program Web site at the top of the form.
  • Item 5 - Admission Criteria. In the "Comments" column, include either the URL for your program's admission section in the Graduate Catalog or you may copy and paste that information into the response field.
  • Item 11 – Core Faculty Publications. The university is still in the process of gathering faculty publications data, and your faculty are still the best source for information on their publications, as they may have gathered this information for internal use or for reporting within the university. Please provide the best information you have available.
  • Item 16 - Date of Last External Review. There may not have been an external review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.
  • Item 17 - External Program Accreditation. There may (or probably will not) have been an accreditation review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.
  • Item 18 - Student Publications and Presentations. There is not an official database of this information but you may have previously started gathering this information for internal use or for reporting within the university. Please provide the best information that you have available.


Items to Complete with Data from GSIS

University data for the following measures is provided via GSIS. Use the information provided in the GSIS report. You may use the “Comments” field to describe differences, if any, between GSIS-produced data and the data maintained within your program or department; however, we ask that you please report these discrepancies to the Graduate School in an e-mail so that we may update our source systems.

Degree Reports
These reports are based on degrees awarded by the program. They include degrees earned in any semester of the years given.

  • Item 1 - Number of Degrees Per Year.
  • Item 3 - Average Time to Degree. Indicate in the "Comments" field whether you select the number of years or the number of semesters to complete.


Student Reports

These reports are based on students enrolled in the program and include only doctoral students enrolled full time in the fall semester of the given year.

  • Item 2 - Graduation Rates These reports refer to students first enrolled in the entering cohort for the fall semester ten years prior to the reported year. These students are considered to have graduated only if they were awarded a doctoral degree in the given program during the subsequent ten-year reporting period.
  • Item 4 – Student Employment Profile.  Note that while Student Employment Profile information is now available from GSIS, this information reflects employment information gathered by the Provost’s Office research staff in collaboration with the faculty and staff of your program and may not reflect all placements of which you are aware.  If this is the case, you should feel free to use your better information, but please contact the GSIS Support Team ( gsis-support@utlists.utexas.edu) for instructions on how to update the GSIS information.
  • Item 6 - Percentage Full-time Students.
  • Item 7 - Average Institutional Financial Support Provided. If you choose to include tuition and medical benefit amounts for 2011 or 2012 students who are employed by the university, please note the amounts and your reason in the "Comments" field.
  • Item 8 - Percentage Full-time Students w/ Institutional Financial Support.
  • Item 15 - Student Diversity.


Faculty Reports

These reports are based on the core faculty of the program. For the purposes of these reports, core faculty has been defined as the membership of the Graduate Studies Committee of the program for the year reported.

  • Item 9 - Number of Core Faculty.
  • Item 10 - Student to Core Faculty Ratio.
  • Item 12 - Core Faculty External Grants. This report represents the total external grants reported through the Office of Sponsored Projects for each of the three most recent years for the core faculty of the given program. External funds are defined as funds reported as expenditures from an external source including research grants, training grants, gifts from foundations, etc. Expenditures are allocated to collaborating faculty equally, without adjustment for percent contribution.
  • Item 13 - Core Faculty Teaching Load.
  • Item 14 - Core Faculty Diversity.


At a large research university, a single definition of core faculty may not capture all of the faculty that programs consider to be "core." The goal is for each department to produce a report that accurately reflects the makeup of the program's faculty. To this end, departmental notations may be made in the "Comments" field about your specific situation.

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