Each graduate student in the department has both a program adviser and a mentor responsible for overseeing research and writing. The director of graduate studies acts as program adviser for all graduate students. MA students are assigned a first-year MA mentor upon entering the department, and select a mentor in their second year of study. PhD students select mentors in the course of study and are also advised by the director of graduate studies. All students prepare Planned Programs of Study to assist in formal degree Advising. Doctoral students also prepare professional portfolios that help to structure mentoring interactions. The department has a robust program of workshops to help prepare materials for portfolios and to provide guidance in the completion of degree requirements. It strongly encourages students to establish unofficial mentoring relations with a number of faculty, both at CWRU and at other institutions.
Graduate teaching assistants are assigned faculty teaching mentors each time they assume new teaching responsibilities. These mentors change from semester to semester, so as to expose students to the widest possible range of pedagogical styles and practices. The Director of the Writing Resource Center supervises all graduate TAs serving as writing consultants in the WRC. In addition to individual mentoring, graduate TAs are integrated into the Writing Program faculty, participating actively in workshops, seminars, and other training sessions. Writing Program Administrators lead a pedagogy seminar for new graduate TAs in their first semester in which they learn practical approaches to teaching writing. The University Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (UCITE) provides resources for instruction across the campus. All graduate assistants with teaching roles must complete a university-level seminar (UNIV 400) prior to assuming classroom responsibilities.