Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS)


Updated: October 2008

OCGS Appraisal Briefs must be submitted electronically to the Dean of Graduate Studies (cc'd to the Manager, Graduate Studies) for review and editorial changes by April 15th.

  • Please use the following templates. The templates include instructions highlighted in blue. Please ensure that all highlighted text is deleted in the final version of the Briefs
  • Please use Arial 11 font in preparing the Briefs
  • Please list only the pertinent years for those areas requiring the last seven years. Outdated publications, etc. will be deleted
  • Each Volume requires a title page (please use the one provided in the template) and a table of contents. The page numbering must be sequential from the first page to the last
  • When preparing Volume II: Curriculum Vitae, do not include headings or data if there is nothing to enter (do not include any heading with a "0")
  • Please contact the Administrative Assistant in the Office of Graduate Studies as they have programs for the preparation of Tables 8, 9, and 10
  • The templates were constructed largely to meet the needs of research master's and doctoral programs. Adjustments need to be made to describe specific programs more appropriately. Nevertheless, the basic information on faculty, resources, program and outcomes is common to all programs. The templates should be used in conjunction with the OCGS document, OCGS By-laws, and the Procedures Governing Appraisals


The templates were inspired from a document initially prepared by the School of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Ottawa.

Internal Process re. OCGS Review

The following process should be followed when preparing the Periodic Appraisal briefs for the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS). The process is administered through the Faculty of Graduate Studies and should include consultation with the Core graduate faculty members, Chairs, Academic Deans, prospective graduate students, the Registrar, the Calendar/Graduate Records Officer, the Manager, Graduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Office of Graduate Studies is required to submit to OCGS the Periodic Appraisal briefs for those programs scheduled for review by the end of June each year.

  • Meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Manager, Graduate Studies in June of the year previous to the scheduled OCGS Periodic Appraisal to discuss the requirements of the Academic Plan and the OCGS appraisal process
  • By September of the year previous to the scheduled OCGS Periodic Appraisal, graduate programs will develop a 5-6 page document following the criteria in accordance with the Academic Plan (I.B.2): Sustainability of all Senate approved academic programs will be carefully assessed. Subsequent OCGS reviews will subject the graduate programs being reviewed first to an internal review.

    The report will be submitted through the academic faculty council to Senate for referral to committee (Faculty of Graduate Studies Council and Senate Budget Committee) for review and a report back to Senate by each group. The result of the internal review will determine if the program will proceed to external OCGS review

    Critical Mass of "Core Faculty"
    While all faculty members at Lakehead University should have access to participation in graduate education, this does not mean that every faculty member can have a Master's or Doctoral program focused solely in their particular area of research interest. Any given Master's or Doctoral program will have at least four (4) "Core Faculty" members in an approved "field of study"

    Faculty Research Intensity
    The "Core Faculty" members will be research-active and productive as per the Faculty of Graduate Studies membership criteria; peer reviewed publications and tri-council (or other external) funding will be key factors

    Teaching Effectiveness of "Core Faculty"
    A program will demonstrate the teaching effectiveness of its "Core Faculty", including times-to-completion of graduate supervision data, and by reference to data from such assessment methodologies as the National Survey of Student Engagement or the Graduate and Professional Student Survey

    A program will provide evidence of a need for the opportunity. Needs assessment information may be such things as employment trends, survey data, summaries of focus groups, documented requests from external constituents. A program will provide evidence of access to a critical mass of students at Lakehead University or elsewhere. Enrolment for the past seven years and projected enrolment numbers and characteristics of the students to be served will be provided; estimated numbers of graduates over the next five years will be outlined

    Graduate Planning will be thought of in terms of building and maintaining a predictable infrastructure: a program will provide reasonable assurance of (a) a steady stream of students who are making appropriate academic progress and (b) a sufficient pool of instructional and supervisory faculty. Normally, the resources necessary for the program should be available within existing programs or should be identified within existing budgets and reallocated. If new resources are needed, all new funding required will be identified in a financial planning form

    Interdisciplinary Programs
    Interdisciplinary programs will not necessarily receive preference, but will be evaluated sympathetically. Proposals for interdisciplinary programs will describe the kinds of work to be performed by Graduate Assistants

    In addition, include responses to the following in accordance with the Academic Plan (II.B): One of the primary ways an academic program can demonstrate the student-centered quality of its educational experience, is to state its program outcomes in terms of learners. All programs will be required to answer the following questions:

    • What specific learning outcomes will be achieved by students who complete the proposed program of study?
    • What methods will be used to assess student learning? How will student learning assessments be embedded in the curriculum?
    • What specific methods of approaches will be used to assess graduate (completer) outcomes?
    • Is a licensure examination associated with this field of study?
    • How will the institution determine the extent to which the academic program meets the objectives previously outlined?
    • How will the collected information be used to improve teaching, advising and co-curricular activities to enhance student learning?
    • Clarify how Lakehead University's commitment to "educating students who are recognized for leadership and independent critical thinking and who are aware of social and environmental responsibilities" will be incorporated as part of the learner outcomes of the curricula
  • In January previous to the OCGS Periodic Appraisal, meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Manager, Graduate Studies to develop the three volume OCGS Periodic Appraisal Brief. The first draft of the Briefs should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies by April
  • In June, the Office of Graduate Studies must submit the Periodic Appraisal briefs to the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS)
  • In the following Fall term, the OCGS Appraisals Committee will review the brief and select consultants to visit Lakehead to review the program. This visit is coordinated through the Manager, Graduate Studies. The visit is scheduled around the availability of the consultants with every effort made to have both consultants on campus at the same time. The actual visit may not take place until the Winter term
  • After their visit to campus, the consultants submit their report to OCGS within two weeks. A copy of the report is sent by OCGS to the Dean of Graduate Studies who will consult with the academic unit and the academic Faculty Dean and within two weeks prepares a response to the consultant's report
  • The Appraisals Committee will make a final recommendation on the program to OCGS. The Dean of Graduate Studies is sent this preliminary recommendation and with consultation from the academic unit, either accepts the Appraisal Committee recommendation or comments on the preliminary recommendation
  • The Appraisal Committee recommendation goes to the next possible meeting of OCGS for final approval. The Dean of Graduate Studies receives a final recommendation notice from OCGS


Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) Website