Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Connecting with community is often easier said than done, even at the best of times. This semester, it is more important than ever to be intentional about finding communities of support and reaching beyond our familiar circles.

Check-in groups are a fantastic way to do just that. In this small-group setting, you’ll be able to give your semester more structure and connect with other graduate students. Together with your check-in peers, you’ll set yourself up for success in grad school by establishing goals with external accountability, troubleshooting issues with your workflow, and feeling less alone in your struggles.

The Graduate Division is offering four different kinds of check-in groups this semester, so that you can join a community of graduate students to discuss your  goals in weekly small groups. Whether you’re interested in teaching, writing, professional development, or oral English practice, there’s a check-in group for you!

In Remote Teaching Check-in Groups (run by the GSI Teaching & Resource Center), meet with other GSIs teaching this semester to discuss best practices for remote teaching and get suggestions on how to use tools for remote pedagogy, increase student engagement over Zoom, and other topics related to the online environment.

In Writing Check-in Groups (run by the Graduate Writing Center), meet with other graduate students to set goals, consider different strategies for your writing process, and troubleshoot issues on the road to effective writing.

In GradPro Check-in Groups (run by GradPro), take the opportunity to set goals and get support achieving milestones in your program (such as QE prep) or exploring possibilities for after your degree.

Or join a group focused on Oral English Practice for International GSIs (run by the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Language Proficiency Program) to hone your oral English skills and thereby improve your experience as an instructor.

If you’re not convinced yet, here’s some feedback from Summer 2020 GradPro check-in participants about why they found the program valuable:

  • “Having the structure on a weekly basis gave my summer a focal point for assessing my progress.”
  • “It was a nice way of connecting with fellow students during COVID. I really appreciated the safe space to grow and develop as a graduate student.”
  • “Our check-in group felt very supportive and grounding. It was great to have an opportunity every week to check-in with myself and others and be intentional with my goal setting, both long term and week-to-week.”

If you’re interested in joining one of these Graduate Division Check-in Groups, send an email inquiry about availability! Email GradPro at [email protected], the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at [email protected], and the Graduate Writing Center at [email protected].


About the Author: Alicia Roy holds a Ph.D. in German from UC Berkeley and is a Hitchcock Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate Division.