Advising roles and committee selection

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The UW Tacoma Nursing faculty and staff recognize that beginning graduate education can be a significant life change. In order to ease the transition into the Master of Nursing Program, UW Tacoma provides a wide range of services including an MN Program orientation, writing workshops, computer workshops, library orientations, and personal counseling services. In addition, advisors assist students throughout the MN Program. These advising roles are described below.

Role of the Graduate Program Coordinator

  • Advises, counsels and assists graduate students, or arranges and verifies that this service is provided by another member of the Graduate Faculty.
  • Ensures that special attention is given to newly admitted students and others with particular needs.

Role of the MN Advisor

The MN Advisor works closely with all MN students to facilitate their adaptation to and progress in the program, and with the assistance of the Graduate Program Coordinator:

  • Develops an initial program plan (course work) for the student,
  • Makes changes to the program plan with approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator, or faculty advisor, if the student has a Supervisory Committee.

Role of Supervisory Committee Chair

The Supervisory Committee Chair, once selected, also serves as the academic advisor and:

  • Works with the student to help clarify professional goals and expected outcomes of the student's academic experience;
  • Discusses the student's program plan including related course work and fieldwork experiences and communicates recommendations to the MN Advisor and to Advanced Fieldwork Facilitator and faculty;
  • Discusses faculty who may be appropriate guides and committee members for the student's scholarly project, thesis, or course work option;
  • Approves the student's fieldwork site and learning objectives;
  • Works with the student to finalize the proposal for the scholarly project, thesis, or course work option;
  • Signs the Use of Human and Animal Subjects for UW Graduate Student Theses and Dissertations Form
  • Participates in quarterly and annual reviews of the student's progress;
  • Submits notes to the student's file following each advising session, including the date, description of the conference, and comments; and
  • Guides and assists student with academic difficulties or challenges in coordination with the Graduate Program Coordinator and MN Advisor.

Role of Scholarly Inquiry Supervisory Committee

Students are encouraged to select their Supervisory Committee in their third quarter of study if part time or in their second quarter if they are full time (see "Considerations for Selecting Supervisory Committee Chair and Members" below). The Supervisory Committee:

  • Signs the Faculty Agreement to Serve on Supervisory Committee Form,
  • Works with the student to develop the scholarly project, thesis, or course work option proposal,
  • Approves the scholarly project, thesis, or course work option proposal proposal,
  • Assists the student with the Human Subjects process, if applicable,
  • Guides activities for completion of the scholarly project, thesis, or course work option proposal including presentation of the work,
  • Administers the master's final examination according to UW Graduate School procedures; at the final examination, completes all required paperwork.

Steps in the Selection of the Supervisory Committee

  1. Students familiarize themselves with the suggestions in this document regarding selecting committee members (see "Considerations for Selecting Supervisory Committee Chair and Members" below).
  2. In the TNURS 598 Scholarly Inquiry Seminar, potential members of the faculty who may be an appropriate Supervisory Committee Chair and guide for their scholarly project, thesis, or course work option.
  3. Students then interview faculty members who have compatible interests to identify who might be an appropriate Chair of the Supervisory Committee. The prospective chairperson is selected first.
  4. Once a faculty member and student have agreed to the chair/advisee relationship, the student and prospective chair identify the additional competencies desirable for representation on the committee and likely faculty members to serve on the committee.
  5. The student interviews the potential Supervisory Committee member(s) and confirms willingness to serve as a member of the Supervisory Committee. The full Supervisory Committee should be appointed as early as possible, and no later than the end of the third quarter of the program.
  6. The student completes the Faculty Agreement to Serve on Supervisory Committee Form and obtains Supervisory Committee Chair and member signatures.
  7. The student submits the completed Faculty Agreement to Serve on Supervisory Committee form and the completed Use of Human and Animal Subjects for UW Graduate Student Theses and Dissertations to the Nursing Program office and the signature of the Graduate Program Coordinator is obtained. Copies of the completed form are then distributed to members of the Supervisory Committee and the student, and one copy is placed in the student's file. The Chairperson of the committee also receives a copy of the student's program plan. Any change of committee must be reported to the MN Advisor.
  8. The student establishes an agreement (verbal or written) with the member(s) of the Supervisory Committee to work together to develop, conduct and present the scholarly project, thesis, or course work option. (The Scholarly Inquiry Plan and Student Contract can be used if a written contract is desired.)

Considerations for Selecting Supervisory Committee Chair and Members

Composition of Supervisory Committee

Members should be chosen based on compatibility of interests between the topics on which the student wishes to work and the areas of inquiry on which faculty are focusing their efforts. Members from outside of the University who hold a master's degree or higher may be appointed to the Supervisory Committee. Students should consider the ability of selected members to work together as well as required expertise in the selection of the committee.

Appointment of a Supervisory Committee for students aspiring to the master's degree is a function of the Graduate Faculty in the degree-granting units or program. The Graduate Program Faculty Coordinator, in consultation with the student and appropriate faculty members, appoints a committee of two to four members. The Chair and at least one-half of the total membership must be members of the graduate faculty (see Graduate School Memorandum No. 13).

Approved 3/7/01. Editorial revisions 8/18/03; 6/22/05; 3/16/07