I’ve done my own research too.
In September 2018, I sent out a survey about pre-dissertation support and I wanted to share the results from that survey and tell you about the program developed to support what women and POC graduate students need the most.
Respondents stated the #1 biggest challenge for them in grad school is having a hard time staying focused and needing more social support to sit down, focus and get work done.
In a close second, it seems like every graduate student, be it Masters or Ph.D., desires more balance. All graduate students devote so much time to their research and studies that they usually don't have enough time left to devote to other responsibilities like family, teaching responsibilities. It can even feel impossible to have a social life in grad school at times, too.
Next, many grad students feel frustrated with keeping track of everything they need to do. We all want to get more work done and can be unsure about what to prioritize or how much time to devote to a task. Last but not least, some request that someone to lay out what grad school entails, wanting to be made aware of the common issues and solution(s) so they can avoid these setbacks and complete their degree in less time and less stress.
Overwhelmingly, graduate students like you want and need someone to work with you to create a personalized plan for dealing with these challenges.
I understand these needs because I needed it too when I first started grad school back in 2012.
Using the survey, one-on-one calls with some of the respondents, and chats with listeners, I've developed a program, The Scholar Circle, to support women and POC Master's and PhD students that I think you'd gain a lot from in terms of addressing your unique challenges with your graduate school journey.
The Scholar Circle is a pre-dissertation support program for US and by US. The aim is to facilitate a network of truly connected scholars with the tools they need to complete their Master's degree or reach ABD status without the isolation, stress, and lack of balance that commonly drives women and POC out graduate school.
Grad Hacks to help you get more done in less time
There are plenty of tech tools like MyTomatoes and systems I've developed like the Research Reading Form help you get more done in less time. We share these often throughout the community.
Value $150 per semester
4. Think of all could you accomplish with 32 hours of distraction-free working
Each week we meet for Study Hall, a 2-hour virtual co-working session where we are highly focused. In each cycle, this is equivalent to adding almost an entire workweek (32 hours) of productivity to your semester. Talk about a boost.
2. Build your Scholarly Skills with Exclusive Trainings
I release trainings every cycle (Fall, Summer, Spring) of the Scholar Circle to help you further your abilities as a researcher. I condense the Google searches/self-learning time-suck to a 1-2 hour training that you can access anytime.
Value $400 per semester
3. Community to give you life.
I don’t know how else to describe our wonderful community. From setbacks to big milestone wins, the community holds each and every member down. Like most grad students, it can be difficult for family + friends to feel where we are coming from, but everyone in the group gets it which makes for a very supportive and refreshing space to just be who you are.
Value Priceless and Fun 😄
5. Get ahead of the game with a roadmap for your success.
Each semester starts with a planning session where we flesh out your goals and create a 16-week action plan. And it's not just for your academic pursuits. Every member of The Scholar Circle commits to at least one personal goal for the semester because we value balance. One-on-one sessions are a bonus for members that join by September 30th.
The bonus one-on-one sessions will go away after September 30th. The regular price for The Scholar Circle is $59 per semester.
Hear directly from Lida + Mahalia two graduate students who’ve been in The Scholar Circle for 9 months now.
Meet The Scholar Circle Creator + Faciliator, Allanté
Allanté here, but you can call me LL. I am a joint Ph.D. student in engineering here to support and help you through the graduate school journey. I chronicle my experience, share advice and interview of Black grad students and early career degree holders on my podcast Blk + in Grad School. Prior to coming back to school, I spent 3 years leading the McNair Scholars Program at a university in my hometown of Detroit. I taught my students research and graduate school readiness skills, many of them leaving the school and heading to fully funded programs at great schools like Princeton and University of Michigan. My time in grad school in addition to my time running McNair makes for a cumulative 8 years of this grad school thing. I’ve figured some things out I want to help you acquire the tools you need more so you can more easily navigate grad school.