Registration is now open for Summer 2024 Check-in Groups!

Registration for Pre-Qualifying Exam Students

Registration for Post-Qualifying Exam Students

Registration for Masters & Professional Students

Fill out the relevant registration form based on your progress towards degree by Friday, May 24 at 5 p.m. PT. During registration, indicate your availability. We will choose the meeting day and time for the Check-In Groups based on when works for the most students. GradPro will send all registrants a Google Calendar invite with the final group meeting time by Monday, May 27, at 5 p.m. PT.

Every semester, GradPro facilitates weekly check-in groups designed to provide peer accountability and support to graduate students. In a check-in group, you will set weekly goals for yourself and find accountability for following through with your goals. GradPro trained facilitators guide the check-ins, fostering an informal yet supportive community. The groups start at the beginning of each semester, so check back here at the beginning of a semester to register for a group, or sign up for our Professional Development Digest for the latest updates.

Concerned about accomplishing your goals, but not sure if a Check-in Group would be right for you? Check out this Grad News post about check-ins or attend an information session at the beginning of next semester.

What to Expect

Check-in Groups meet for 50-minutes weekly throughout the semester. Some groups meet virtually, while others meet in-person on campus or hybrid. During a typical meeting, each member reflects on the progress they have made on their goals since the previous meet-up, as well as any challenges they’ve encountered. Each member then has the opportunity to share their reflections, and the group members and facilitator offer support and advice to each other. Most weeks, the group will also delve into a discussion on a topic relevant to graduate school and professional goals that group members have suggested, such as time management or imposter syndrome. The trained facilitator will suggest resources that complement this themed discussion. Finally, group members take some time to set goals for their upcoming week, and share their goals with the group, which facilitates group accountability and community building. While it is okay to miss an occasional meeting, it is important for peer-accountability that group members attend regularly.

How to Join

Online registration for Check-In Groups is open for one week at the beginning of each semester. When open, the registration form is linked at the top of this page. During registration, you can choose from a selection of groups, finding a group theme or designation and time that works best for you. Once registration closes, Check-In Group facilitators will contact all group participants with more information.

Information for Current Group Participants

Community Standards

In Check-in Groups, GradPro asks all participants to uphold these standards:

Keep it…

  1. Personal, rather than universal – Use “I” statements and avoid “you should” statements.
  2. Respectful – If you take space and time, make sure to give space and time. Use active listening (see this video for more on active listening).
  3. Confidential – Everything group members share in the check-in group is confidential and should not be shared with anyone outside the group, unless you have explicit consent otherwise.
  4. Generative – Move dialogue toward positive, concrete action.

Active Listening on Zoom

Conducting discussions remotely via Zoom necessitates active listening and engagement. Here are some suggestions:

  1. If possible, keep your video on and try to look into the camera.
  2. Use reaction emojis on Zoom and the chat to show your engagement.
  3. Make an effort to use others’ names even more so than usual.
  4. Use gestures when speaking and nod to show others you are listening and relate to what they are saying.

Key Resources

Part of GradPro’s mission is to research and collect resources and opportunities for graduate students on career preparation and exploration topics. Collections of these key resources can be found here.

Get Involved or Run Your Own Check-in Group

GradPro offers an annual training for members of the community who are interested in learning how to run a Check-in Group. This training typically takes place from mid-summer to the beginning of fall semester. Those who attend the training can start a Check-in Group in their own department or student group, or in some cases may work with GradPro to run a group collaboratively. To join the next training session, reach out to us at [email protected].

GradPro is also happy to share more details on how Check-in Groups are run for those that are interested:

Most GradPro check-in groups are designed for a particular group of students, whether this is students who are at a certain degree stage, or share a degree type, discipline, affinity, or identity. GradPro rotates through these group designations, offering a different assortment of groups each semester. Group designations GradPro has offered include:

  • BIPOC Students
  • Black Students
  • Disabled, Neurdivergent, and Chronically Ill Students
  • First-Generation, Low-Income Students (FGLI)
  • Humanities and Social Science Students
  • International Students
  • Latinx/Latine Students
  • LGBTQ+ Students
  • Masters and Professional Students
  • Mixed Discipline Students
  • Mixed Discipline PhD Students
  • Post-quals PhD Students
  • Post-quals PhD Students (nearing graduation)
  • Pre-quals PhD Students
  • STEM Students
  • Undocugrad Students
  • Womxn Students

If you would like to suggest a new group designation, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Check-in groups are structured and facilitated through a goal setting spreadsheet, wherein group participants write down their goals for the semester and for each week. Participants also use the spreadsheet as a place to write down their reflections on how goal progress is proceeding. Group members share one spreadsheet document through Google Sheets, so that they can see each other’s goals, remain accountable to one another, and share links to important resources. See an example of the Google Sheet here.

THEMED DISCUSSION (10 min)
Facilitators lead a short discussion on a theme or topic related to grad school, professional development, or planning/goal setting. We conduct a short survey at the beginning of the semester to gauge what topics the group is interested in. The aim is for participants to share thoughts, experiences, and resources. Example discussion questions from Spring 2021:

  • What are your strengths as a graduate student?
  • What aspect of your role/job as a grad student might you be over-preparing and over-functioning in, at the expense of others?
  • What are your current sources of feedback? Do you feel you are currently getting the feedback you need?
  • What are your strategies for dealing with rejection or negativity?
  • What is one method you have used or want to use to proactively manage your stress, frustration, and energy levels during difficult points of the semester?

REFLECTION (15 min)

  • Participants write a reflection in their tab next to the last session’s goals to think about the previous week. Reflecting on what went well and what didn’t help them think about their work processes and strategies.
  • Sharing: Participants have 1-2 minutes each to share based on their reflection. It can be something they are happy about or would like input on. Others can give feedback (via chat or verbally, if time allows). (Use breakout rooms if the group is larger than five participants.)
  • The first week of each month: Participants reflect on their semester-long goals (write this reflection next to their semester goals) and adjust them if needed. If they have time, they can reflect on their weekly goals. They can then share their reflection, how they adjusted their semester goals, and/or a highlight from the semester so far.

GOALS (15 min)

  • Writing: Participants write down their new outcome and process goals with due dates (usually the next check-in session).
  • Sharing: Participants have 1-2 minutes each to share from 1-2 goals. It can be something they are happy about or would like help with. Others can give feedback (via chat or verbally, if time allows). If short on time, have only one or two participants share.
  • Last session: Participants should instead write 1-2 major professional and 1-2 major personal goals for the next semester (or summer). They can then share their goals and/or what they are looking forward to next semester.

ANNOUNCEMENTS & BREATHING (5 min)

  • The facilitator shares any announcements.
  • The facilitator ends the session with an optional breathing/relaxation exercise.
  • End exactly at the hour, or a few minutes earlier.