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Professional Development

Fostering academic and professional identity

To compete in today's workforce, graduate students need to be transformative leaders, knowledge mobilizers, master learners and career navigators. The professional development programs offered by the Graduate College hones the communication skills, creativity, critical thinking and collaborative skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly global society.

Graduate College programs build professional identities and communities, whether preparing for a career in or outside of academia. With teaching and learning support, academic and career development, and the graduate student mentoring network, you'll learn to thrive in a future-focused community.

Graduate College Professional Development Model

Infographic for the Professional Development Model pillars

The Graduate Student Support Resources team provides training in supplement to your academic curriculum that is designed to infuse skills that are critical to making the most of your education and articulating your degree into a career: communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.


Teaching and learning support

Thrive in your pre-professional career through our Teaching Assistant/Associate Development (TAD) program, which includes policy and procedural understanding, best practices in classroom management and curricular engagement, and a support community. Our library of TA Resources and Services include:

Teaching Assistant Development (TAD)

The TAD program is required for all new TAs and designed to provide new teaching assistants (TAs) with an orientation to ASU and the TA position as an ongoing component of the professional identity development of ASU's graduate students. TAD consists of three components:

  • TA Training module (9)
  • On-site TA orientation (registration required)
  • Development Experiences (2)

To self-enroll in the TAD program or to register for TA Orientation, visit the TAD page.

The TA/RA Policy and Procedures Handbook

As teaching assistants, it is important to understand the expectations, rights and responsibilities of your position as scholar, researcher, instructor and member of the broader academic community. The TA/RA position is an important role both to the ASU community and to the development of your professional identity. The TA/RA Policy and Procedures Handbook describes the general roles, responsibilities and expectations of TAs and RAs (research assistants), as well as ASU policies and procedures.

Diary of a New TA

Diary of a New TA is a blog-style resource for future and new teaching assistants. Featuring advice by current and past teaching assistants, Diary of a New TA covers a broad array of TA-related issues, offering practical advice on everything from classroom management strategies to student communication and conduct. To review recent posts or contribute your own tips, join the discussion.

Academic and career development

Graduate students develop the professional identities needed to build enduring careers with academic integrity and university support programs that foster scholarly collaboration, career pathway exploration, and our knowledge mobilization initiatives.

Academic integrity

Graduate school is often an entry point into a scholarly or research-oriented career, and graduate research is an opportunity to begin fostering professional identities. Academic and scholarly integrity are essential components of these identities. Learn more about your roles and responsibilities as a scholar, as well as resources available to ensure the integrity of all your academic endeavors.

First-Year Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium (IRC)

The IRC program is a one-credit course open to all ASU first-year graduate students and required for first-year graduate student recipients of the Interdisciplinary Enrichment Fellowship. This colloquium provides an opportunity for students to discuss and share their own research, collaborate with peers for interdisciplinary research projects, and interact with underrepresented scholars in a multicultural academic community.

Preparing Future Faculty and Scholars (PFx)

PFx is a year-long series of seminars, discussions and activities designed to expose doctoral and MFA students and post-doctoral fellows more fully to an insider's view of a practicing scholar-professional. The main goal of the program is to enable participants to transition successfully to employment in an academic, alternative-academic, or nonacademic community. Students become equipped with a realistic knowledge of academic, industry, non-profit and entrepreneurial cultures and career expectations.

Knowledge Mobilization (KM)

Knowledge Mobilization is the process of translating research-driven knowledge into positive and active use within organizations, communities and societies. The Graduate College embraces Knowledge Mobilization and fosters ASU's design aspirations by providing graduate students and post-doctoral scholars opportunities to exchange information with broader audiences and create products with impact on the community.

The Knowledge Mobilization Studio (KMS) is one-credit course designed to provide graduate students and post-doctoral fellows the opportunity to learn and use a knowledge mobilization framework using their own scholarship and/or content from their disciplines. For more information or to register for Spring 2018, click here.

In addition to KMS, the Graduate College hosts an annual Knowledge Mobilization Impact Awards program. The KM Impact Awards showcases and celebrates the innovative, exciting public-serving scholarship of our graduate students and post-doctoral scholars. Learn more about the knowledge and creativity produced in an education setting that connects research and change between the academy and the public it serves.

University support programs

Our resources and services library offers links, tips and best practice sheets on everything from stress and time management as a graduate student to refining research skills, getting published, grant-writing and finding resources within ASU. Visit and bookmark the Community of Scholars resource and service library.

Mentoring and community engagement

One essential element of a quality graduate education is the opportunity it offers for connection – to a diverse graduate population, to broader communities of practice and resources, and to faculty and professional worlds. 

Community-building initiatives

To learn more about our identity-based and community-building mentorship programs, visit SHADES.

Faculty mentoring resources

Fostering strong professional relationships with faculty allows graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to network and prepare for careers.

The Graduate Faculty search tool encourages graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to identity and connect with graduate faculty resources at ASU, including research professors, scholars, and ASU research affiliates.

Mentoring excellence recognition and tools

Mentoring is essential to student success and professional development. The Graduate College recognizes and rewards outstanding mentoring through its Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards and Outstanding Mentor Speaker's Bureau.

University-wide mentoring support

The Graduate College is a member of the ASU Mentoring Council, an affiliation of mentoring initiatives institution-wide. By sharing resources and cross-promoting mentoring opportunities, the ASU Mentoring Council advances the visibility of mentoring programs across the university.

To connect to a mentoring program, visit ASU Mentoring Council Affiliates.

Graduate student organizations

ASU has over 1,000 student-run clubs and organizations that support academics, culture, religion, art, politics, sports, music, science and more, with over 60 specifically created by and for graduate students. The Graduate Student Support Initiatives office encourages graduate students to enrich their ASU experiences by getting involved and networking with other graduate students. Joining a graduate student group is an excellent way to develop professional contacts, engage with your academic network, or find connections within the greater Sun Devil community.

Click here to learn more about involvement in the Graduate and Professional Student Association and other graduate student organizations.