Message from the Office of Graduate Studies and Graduate Resource Center

July 9, 2020: Some Facts About the Recent Announcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Impact on Our International Students

Dear Graduate Students,

Harkmore Lee, our Associate Vice President for International Programs and Dean at the College of Professional and Global Education (PaGE), prepared the following bullet points to address the recent announcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding international students. The Office of Graduate Studies is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates to students as they are received.

  • Cal State LA is working closely with the CSU Chancellor's Office (CO) to address the recent guidance by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This past Monday, the federal agency announced that it would be modifying its rules that allowed international students to take online courses during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  • Briefly, the new modifications proposed by ICE will disallow international students to stay in the country if they attend institutions that are holding courses online this fall. International students would have to transfer to another institution that provides in-person or hybrid (both in-person and online) instruction— or to depart the country and risk not being able to return. Those students who fail to comply with this proposed guidance could face deportation.

 

  • Upon receiving the announcement, the senior international officers (SIOs) from each CSU campus met with the CO to examine the ICE announcement. Our campus SIO is Harkmore Lee, Associate Vice President for International Programs and Dean at the College of Professional and Global Education (PaGE). AVP Lee and the other SIOs noted that the ICE guidance raised many questions and serious concerns.

 

  • The announcement also created significant apprehension within our international student community.  To address the students’ concerns and underscore our campus support, an email message was sent to the international student community Monday evening to acknowledge the impact of the guidance, but also to offer our reassurance, support, and commitment to the students. Everyone is fully aware of what is at stake for our international students and their academic pursuits.

 

  • Numerous colleges, universities, and associations across the United States have raised similar concerns about the ICE guidance. Earlier today, Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order to keep this federal guidance from taking effect. The lawsuit highlights the significant health and safety risk posed by this new ICE guidance on international students during the pandemic (link (Links to an external site.) to the filing document).

 

 (Links to an external site.)

  • Presently, the SIOs are working closely with Chancellor's Office to develop new guidance for campuses in response to ICE's pending rule modifications. The Chancellor's Office guidance should be issued in the next few days.  We ask that international students allow us the time and opportunity to receive and review this guidance.  Afterwards, an update will be provided to the international students and others in our campus community.

 

  • In the meantime, we encourage our Cal State LA Golden Eagle family to continue to listen and support our international students during this challenging time.

 

  • If you or your students, faculty, and staff have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact:

a)      Harkmore Lee, AVP for International Programs, [email protected]

b)      Jimmy Solis, Director, International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE) Office, [email protected]

c)      International Programs Office[email protected] or at (323) 343-3170.

 

MAY 20, 2020: Final Thesis Deadline + What to Expect

Hello Graduate Students,

As you are all aware, today is the final deadline for content revisions to be uploaded to your submission in ProQuest. Please remember to upload your final draft by the end of the day today (the website says noon, but as long as I receive it by 11:59 p.m., that is fine with me). After today, we will be in the final review phase of thesis/project report/dissertation submission where the Thesis Reviewers and I will review the final drafts of your manuscripts in ProQuest. I will also be drafting Thesis Completion Memos which notify the Graduation Office, the Registrar’s Office, and your College of all students who have completed the thesis, project, or dissertation.

Here’s what to expect in the coming days:

  • Be on the lookout for an email from ProQuest. Most students will still have some format errors to correct at this stage. You will receive an email from a Thesis Reviewer or me if any format corrections are needed in your draft. Check your Spam/Junk folders because sometimes, the ProQuest emails get incorrectly categorized as such.
  • Make any requested edits ASAP. We are working around the clock to get your manuscripts finalized, and the sooner you make your edits, the sooner we can approve your submission. There is no formal deadline for format revisions (i.e., we work with you until the manuscript is formatted correctly), but if you want to be included in the first round of Thesis Completion Memos, you should incorporate requested revisions no later than May 26.
  • If you have no revisions to make, the only email you'll receive is the approval email.
  • Everybody will receive the approval email eventually. For most students, it will come on Wednesday, May 27.
  • Your degree won’t post to your transcripts until the your thesis has been approved. This will happen after the Graduation and Registrar’s Office receive the Completion Memos. The Completion Memos trigger a grade change for all courses numbered 5970, 5990, 5995, and 9000 from in progress (RP) to credit (CR). Faculty do not need to submit any grade changes for these courses. The first round of these memos will go out on May 27.
  • You will also receive a separate email from me next week confirming the receipt of your GS-13 forms. Please do not email me to check in to see if I have received your GS-13 form. I have received a lot of them and haven’t had time to respond to individual emails to confirm their receipt so instead I’ll be sending batch emails. One will go to students whose GS-13 I do have and one will go out to students whose GS-13 I do not have.

OTHER REMINDERS:

Orders through ProQuest

If you would like to order a physical copy of your manuscript through ProQuest, but you didn’t order it when your first created your submission, you will have to create a new submission to place the order. This complicates things on our end so my request is that you continue to work with the current submission you have in ProQuest until it is finalized on May 27. Then, once we get your manuscript in perfect shape for formatting, you can create the new submission with the final draft of your document and place your order. If you create the new submission sooner, it could make things a little messy for you and your thesis reviewer and I’d like to avoid that.

Extending Into Summer

  • If you are going to request an extension for spring thesis completion into the summer, send me the completed extension request form (found under the April 13th announcement on this webpage) by Friday, May 22. Be sure to read the description of the extension on the April 13th announcement.
  • If you have requested an extension, the information above will not apply to you. You will get a notification that your submission has been withdrawn and you will have to create a new submission and upload again by the date indicated on your extension request form.

Finally, I’d like to request from you to please resist the urge to check in with me via email for updates on the status of your submission. Each time I have to respond to a student to provide them an update, it takes away from the time I am able to be working in ProQuest. I can assure you that I am doing everything possible to make this a seamless process for both you and me, but it takes time, and I’d really appreciate your patience.

I will be holding office hours today from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. for quick drop in appointments if you’d like to check in with me about anything not answered in this email. To join the waiting room, visit https://tinyurl.com/GRC-OH or enter Meeting ID: 916 5110 4848 into Zoom.

Thanks so much for your understanding and congratulations on all of your hard work. We’re almost to the end!

Sincerely, 

Andrew Chavez, your GRC Coordinator


April 30, 2020: Thesis-Related Reminders

Dear Graduate Students,

I hope you and your loved ones have been resilient and healthy during the last few weeks. As we approach the end of the semester, I’m noticing that I’m receiving the same questions from graduate students every day regarding thesis/project report submission so I’m reaching out to provide some clarity on what you can expect in the next few weeks.

Please note that the following information does not apply to students writing a project report in the following Colleges and Departments, and questions regarding the formatting and submission of the project reports should be directed to the appropriate College or Department:

  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology
  • School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics
  • School of Social Work
  • Department of Sociology (Portfolio Option only)

All students completing a thesis and all students completing a project report in a department not listed above must adhere to the procedures and deadlines below.

DEADLINES

May 1: Deadline to upload first complete draft of thesis/project report to ProQuest for official review.

  • This should be a complete draft (it doesn’t have to be the final one) so that you can focus on editing between this deadline and the May 20th deadline.
  • If you had a preliminary review appointment before the April 24th deadline, incorporate the format feedback you received on your draft before uploading.
  • If you still have a lot to write, upload what you have anyway. I need to have a record of each student who is graduating in Spring 2020 in ProQuest to track their progress and to intervene or offer support whenever necessary. If you do not upload your draft, I’m not able to do this.

Between May 1 and May 20: Thesis Reviewers work with you to provide feedback on the formatting of your draft through ProQuest.

  • You may hear back from your Thesis Reviewer as early as May 4 or as late as May 13. Four Thesis Reviewers, who are all current graduate students, and I have to manage the thesis/project report submission process for all graduate students who are submitting (~250 students) and it takes time to review each submission.
  • Because the feedback emails are generated by ProQuest, Outlook sometimes categorizes them as Spam/Junk/Clutter. Check these folders if May 13 arrives and you have not yet received formatting feedback.
  • You can continue to edit the content of your draft while you await format feedback during this period.

May 20 (extended from May 15): Deadline to upload the final draft of your thesis and submit electronically-signed GS-13 form.

  • You must upload the final draft of your thesis to ProQuest on this date. Please note that this is only a final deadline for content edits, including feedback received at the defense, and that formatting edits may still be needed after this date.
  • In response to COVID-19, we are accepting electronically-signed GS-13 forms instead of hard copies of the form with wet signatures. The GS-13 form is the approval page of the thesis/project report and is the only way that I can verify that faculty have approved a given thesis or project report.
  • Electronically-signed GS-13 forms should be emailed to [email protected]. This form should come directly from the Committee Chair. If I receive it from a student, I will send an email to the Committee Chair to confirm its submission but if it comes directly from the Committee Chair, I won’t have to take this extra step.

May 27: Candidate receives acceptance notification.

  • You will receive an email from me by May 27 confirming that your thesis/project report has been accepted by the University. You are not done working with the Graduate Resource Center until you receive this email.
  • Generally, your thesis/project report is accepted if I have a GS-13 form on file for you and you have incorporated requested formatting feedback into your submission in ProQuest. It’s only in rare circumstances that your thesis/project report is not approved (e.g. IRB issues, other enrollment issues, etc.)
  • On this day, I also send Thesis Completion memos to the Registrar, Graduation Office, and College with a list of students who have been approved in ProQuest. This memo triggers a grade change for all courses numbered 5970, 5990, 5995, and 9000 from RP (in progress) to CR (credit). 

THESIS EXTENSIONS

Graduate students who still need additional time to complete their thesis/project report over the summer (i.e., students who cannot meet the above deadlines), may request an extension with the written permission (via the Spring 2020 Extension Request Form below) of their committee and a commitment from their thesis/project chair to support the student throughout the summer.  This is an option for graduate students who have made sufficient progress toward completing their thesis, project, or dissertations before the COVID-19 pandemic crisis hit and who were planning to graduate Spring 2020.

  • Students will not be required to enroll in UNIV 9000 and pay the $350 fee to submit their thesis/project report over the summer.
  • Instead, if the student and committee complete the form and email it to [email protected], an extension will be granted for Spring 2020 submission with a date agreed upon by the committee and student, but no later than August 1st, 2020. Students who submit their thesis/project report by the approved extension date will have a Spring 2020 graduation degree post date.
  • Students should plan to hold a thesis review appointment with a GRC Thesis Reviewer at least one week prior to the agreed upon deadline.
  • Students who do not complete their required work and submit their manuscript by their approved extended deadline will need to enroll in UNIV 9000 for the Fall 2020 Semester.

​Thank you,

Andrew Chavez

GRC Coordinator


April 13, 2020: Spring 2020 Thesis Extension 

In our continued effort to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our graduate students, we have extended the thesis/project report submission deadline to Wednesday, May 20, 2020 (Spring grading deadline) for all graduate students. 

Graduate students who still need additional time to complete their thesis, over the summer, may request an extension with the written permission of their thesis committee and a commitment from their thesis chair to support the student throughout the summer.  This is an option for graduate students who have made sufficient progress toward completing their thesis, project, or dissertations before the COVID-19 pandemic crisis hit. All committee-approved extensions will be granted at no additional cost. Students will not be required to enroll in UNIV 9000 and pay the $350 fee to complete their thesis over the summer.  Instead, an extension will be granted for Spring 2020 thesis submission with a date agreed upon by the thesis committee and student, but no later than August 1st, 2020. Students who submit their thesis by the approved extension date will have a Spring 2020 graduation post date.

Students should plan to hold a thesis review appointment with a GRC Thesis Reviewer at least one week prior to the agreed upon deadline. Students who do not complete their required work and submit their manuscript by their approved extended deadline will need to enroll in UNIV 9000 for the Fall 2020 Semester.

Spring 2020 Thesis Extension Request Form


March 24, 2020: GS-13 Updates

In response to COVID-19, the Office of Graduate Studies is accepting electronic GS-13 forms for theses and project reports. Instructions for submission of the electronic form are included with the form itself. The GS-13 form is the approval page for all theses and some project reports submitted to the Graduate Resource Center. Thesis/project committee members must all sign off on the GS-13 form to notify the Graduate Resource Center Coordinator that they have approved a student’s thesis or project report. Committee members should not sign off on this form until the student has incorporated all required feedback into their thesis drafts. Without this form, the Graduate Resource Center cannot verify that a thesis/project report has been approved by the supervising faculty and the student will not be eligible to graduate. Electronically signed GS-13 forms will not be accepted from students and must come from the thesis committe chair/thesis advisor.


March 19, 2020: GRC Services Amid COVID-19

Dear Graduate Students and Faculty Colleagues,

As we all adjust to remote teaching, advising and academic support services, I want to assure you that the Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Resource Center will continue to provide services and resources to support the academic success of our graduate students.  Our GRC staff is available for consultation through telephone, email and Zoom.  Our office email address [email protected] still accepts inquiries from the campus community and general public.  We have established a second email address, [email protected] for scheduling appointments with thesis reviewers and writing consultants. We have convereted our workshops to webinars and have updated our webinar schedule. RSVP on our Workshops and Webinars webpage to receive the Zoom link to attend any of our webinars. 

To schedule a remote meeting with a thesis reviewer please email [email protected]. with the following information:

  • Subject Line: Thesis Review Request
  • Name
  • CIN
  • Department
  • Style Manual (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
  • Three thirty-minute time slots for your preferred appointment time (ex. Tuesday, January 21, 1:30 - 2:00 p.m.)
  • A copy of your thesis draft as a Word document

Writing Consultations:

To schedule a writing consultation, email [email protected] with the following information:

  • Subject Line: Writing Consultation Request
  • Name
  • CIN
  • Department
  • Two one-hour time slots for your appointment (ex. Tuesday, January 21, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.)
  • A copy of the writing assignment and its instructions

 Funding Opportunities:

  • Travel Awards: In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all university-sponsored travel has been cancelled.  Therefore, all future travel awards have been discontinued. All travel approved for funding and completed prior to the travel ban will be awarded. 
  • Culminating Project Fund: We remind you that we do have Culminating Project funds if you are working on your thesis, dissertation or project. This fund is a reimbursement program designed to support Cal State LA graduate student research and/or scholarship conducted towards completing a thesis, creative activity, or dissertation. Students funded through this award will receive reimbursement for approved supplies, equipment, and services. All applications must be submitted electronically to [email protected] by May 15, 2020 and all receipts must be turned in by June 5, 2020. If you have questions, please email [email protected].
  • Graduate Equity Fellowship Program: These grants are designed to increase the number of graduate degrees awarded to economically disadvantaged CSU students currently enrolled in a graduate program at Cal State LA, especially those graduate students that are underrepresented among graduate degree recipients in their discipline and to those who are disabled. See website for application. All applications must be submitted electronically to [email protected] the deadline for AY 2020–2021: April 15, 2020, 5:00 pm PT

We are directing the campus community to The Cal State LA Health Watch webpage for all COVID-19 updates as well as other important information.

I wish you resilience and wellness as you work to complete this academic year.

Sincerely,

Karin Elliott Brown, Ph.D.
AVP & Dean of Graduate Studies