Enhance your career preparedness with the Competencies Road Map
Use this Road Map as a framework to develop your six core competencies in three areas identified to enhance personal and professional success. The systematic approach helps you progress and build up your competencies using CSU resources for training open to all resident graduate students. Many of the linked resources are also available to online graduate students and postdoctoral associates. We particularly recommend engaging in our Graduate Professional Development Series for graduate students and postdoctoral associates. Please check your department, college, the Graduate Student Council, and professional organizations for additional resources and opportunities to develop your competencies.
Start by engaging in one activity listed for each core competence to see what is most relevant and helpful to you. You may then decide to pursue further core competence opportunities or additional competencies.
You are likely already using these skills on a day to day basis. Enhancing your abilities in these three competencies will immediately strengthen your efforts and contribute to your future success. Click on the buttons for opportunities to develop at CSU:
These competencies are foundational for any career path. Click on the buttons to find ways to develop:
A graduate degree pairs with strong leadership skills to have a meaningful and impactful career. To prepare for your future, you should also visit the Career Center and conduct job searches. Click on the buttons below for opportunities to build skills that may apply to your career goals:
The Graduate Professional Development Series has many sessions to help build your competencies. Find descriptions of competencies below, with lists of relevant CSU opportunities.
1. Personal Development Competence includes wellness and preventive mental health care, finances, and work-life balance.
To start on your Personal Development, download this Competencies Road Map reminder. Resources to get started on Personal Development include:
More important ways to develop in this competence include:
3. Diversity & Inclusion Competence requires active engagement effort.
Further develop with:
- Graduate Center for Inclusive Mentoring
- Inclusive Pedagogy from The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)
- Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education
- LGBTQIA Safe Zone Training
- Educate Yourself from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity
- Research Mentoring to Advance Inclusivity in STEM
4. Communication Competence includes developing informative and persuasive communication, communication to the public, technical presentation, and technical writing.
Engage with the Graduate Student Showcase, our premier interdisciplinary event to highlight graduate student work from all eight colleges across campus. Resources to build this competence also include:
- CSU Writes groups and workshops
- Demo Day event with CSU Ventures
- Toastmasters Club
- CSU Speaks Event (usually in Spring, watch the Graduate Student Council website for information)
- Travel Awards for professional presentations
- Online National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity
- Center for Science Communication
- Science in Action group
- Science on Tap events
- GRAD 550 STEM Communication Course: Resident and Online
- BIOM 750 Grant Proposal Writing and Reviewing Course
5. Teamwork Competence includes networking and working collaboratively to building your mentoring contacts.
Ways to grow include:
6. Leadership Competence includes opportunities to develop personal traits in a relevant environment.
Here are some ways you can develop leadership skills and get involved as a community leader:
Entrepreneurship Competence includes research and development along with technology commercialization:
STEM Research Competence includes research ethics; compliance, governance, and risk; engagement, translation, and outreach; research and development; data science; philosophy of science:
- Data & Donuts Sessions
- Coding & Cookies Sessions
- 2-credit Data Science Courses
- Responsible Conduct of Research Training
- PHIL666/CM666 Science and Ethics Course
- CSU Extension Internship
Teaching & Mentoring Competence includes mentoring, pedagogy, and inclusivity best-practices:
- Graduate Center for Inclusive Mentoring
- The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT):
- Facilitating Adult Learning Certificate (also available online)
Applying Policy Competence means understanding issues in your specialization and how your work impacts decision-making:
Graduate students and postdocs can face a number of different types of challenges and crises. Here we provide links that graduate students and postdocs have found helpful. If you do not find what you need here, please contact the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to point you towards the resources you need to succeed.
- Public Assistance and Community Resources for food insecurity, housing insecurity, resources for parents
- Rams Against Hunger provides free and low cost food options
- Off-Campus Life has housing and commuting resources
- Student Legal Services provides consultations on most legal concerns, notarization, and estate planning with reduced fees for graduate students
- International Student & Scholar Services give support to international students
- Adult Learner and Veteran Services has resources for veterans, resources for parents, peer mentoring for adult learners
- Student Case Management provides assistance to students in difficult situations to help navigate resources and services available
- Student Resolution Center gives confidential support to students navigating disputes, procedural challenges, and interpersonal conflict
- Inclusive Campus highlights inclusive features, including physical accessibility, all gender restrooms, technology, lactation rooms, reflection spaces, signage, and transportation.
- CARE program hosts useful information for employees, with some relevant COVID-19 and childcare resources for graduate students
Attend the Graduate Professional Development Series to further develop key skills and competencies. Find the schedule here. Opportunities often include:
- How to build your CV or resume
- Interview with purpose
- Use internships for exploration
The Career Center has a lot to offer graduate students:
- 1:1 career advising services are open to all CSU students, including graduate students. This can take the form of a drop-in or a scheduled appointment for a deeper dive with a career educator. Many career educators have a specialization within a college.
- An online Resource Center with resources that are specific to graduate students
- Career Competencies
- Career Center Event Calendar
More on Professional Development Competencies and References: