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Help and Support

ACADEMIC ADVICE

Students looking for academic advice should approach any member of the faculty that they feel comfortable speaking with. For more general academic advice see the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). Students having difficulties forming a dissertation committee should speak with the DGS as soon as possible. The DGS can offer advice and act as a go-between to establish connections with faculty.

HELP WITH ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES

Students needing help in resolving an administrative or payroll issues within Northwestern should see the Graduate Program Manager. They can connect with The Graduate School (TGS) and other university offices.

HELP WITH PRACTICAL ISSUES OF LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES

Need help with riding the Chicago Transit Authority, dealing with the cable company or the Social Security Administration? Speak to the Graduate Program Manager or talk with some of the older students.

HELP WITH UNDERSTANDING THE DEPARTMENT’S FUNDING RULES

The webpage on departmental funding explains the department’s rules and progress milestones for funding. Students with unusual or extenuating circumstances should talk with the Associate Chair.

HELP WITH IMMIGRATION ISSUES

The staff of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services ("The International Office") are best equipped to help.Please contact the Graduate Program Manager for documentation for an I-20 extension.

HELP WITH PERSONAL AND MEDICAL ISSUES

TGS has a webpage describing health and wellness services. These include:

If the student feels comfortable with sharing any personal or medical issues that affect their studies, they can speak in confidence with the DGS or the Graduate Program Manager. (Note however the mandatory reporting requirement described under 'Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct" below.) They can offer advice and connect the student with resources within the university. They can also help the student navigate the process if the student feels that a medical leave of absence is necessary.

Students who witness a peer having personal or medical issues should reach out to the peer student or alternatively speak confidentially with the DGS or the Graduate Program Manager.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Accommodations such as in lectures and in test taking for students with disabilities are determined solely and confidentially by the AccessibleNU office. They evaluate, and confidentially inform instructors about any accommodations that are necessary. Instructors cannot independently make accommodations or deny accommodations specified by AccessibleNU.

PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT

When serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA), students should expect that faculty act as a mentor. Faculty are asked to monitor how TAs are doing in the discussion section(s) and other duties, and to provide constructive advice. However, TAs have a right to be treated with respect. The inevitable mistakes or errors should be discussed with the instructor and treated as a learning experience. If there is unresolved conflict with an instructor, contact the Associate Chair. For issues with a student in the class, contact the instructor of the course and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR PROGRAM

Our program has evolved based on suggestions by students. For suggestions regarding changes in the curriculum, please speak with the DGS. For suggestions on improvements in support services, please speak to the Graduate Program Manager Another option is to share concerns with the student representatives on the department’s Graduate Studies Committee, who can discuss the issue with the committee.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The university has policies dealing with academic integrity, plagiarism and the responsible conduct of research. TGS has a web page providing advice on avoiding academic integrity violations. The webpage also has information on reporting, procedures for review of alleged violations, and possible sanctions.

CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF

In many cases, the situation should be addressed directly with the other person, but there are options if the conflict is unresolved or if the victim is uncomfortable raising the issue.

Conflicts with Faculty

TGS has a policy statement and processes to deal with conflicts between students and faculty such as conflicts between students and their dissertation advisor and committee.

Conflicts with Other Students

Northwestern has a student code of conduct. The Office of Student Conduct deals with peer to peer conflict including incidents of hate or bias. Northwestern has a Behavioral Consultation Team available to provide advice if a student feels that their personal safety is at risk.

Departmental Help and Support

If the student feels comfortable talking with them, the DGS or the Graduate Program Manager are best equipped to initially address concerns and provide connections with the appropriate office on campus.

DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which everyone is safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct, discrimination and discriminatory harassment.

Departmental Help and Support

If the student feels comfortable talking with them, the DGS or the Graduate Program Manager are best equipped to initially address concerns and provide connections with the appropriate office on campus. Note that currently most university personnel are required to report any sexual misconduct, discrimination or harassment of which they become aware during the scope of their work. This includes the DGS and the Graduate Program Manager, as well as faculty, staff and graduate students with teaching responsibilities The Office of Equity outlines the options for confidential support concerning sexual misconduct.

University Reporting and Support

Northwestern encourages anyone who has been the target of, or who witnesses, sexual misconduct, discrimination, or harassment based on a protected category to report the incident to the Office of Equity so that those impacted can be provided with information on available resources and options. The Office of Equity outlines the options for confidential support concerning sexual misconduct.

Confidential Reporting

The university has contracted with an independent third-party company, NAVEX Global Inc., to receive confidential reports of violation of illegal or unethical behavior while maintaining the reporter's anonymity and confidentiality. The reporting tool, called EthicsPoint, can be contacted by Internet or by calling 1-866-294-3545. Note that EthicsPoint is not an emergency service, and there may be a delay in responding. If there is an imminent threat, call 911. Read about how EthicsPoint operates and the services it provides.

Inappropriate Professional Conduct

The American Economic Association (AEA) has a code of professional conduct. If the victim believes that the AEA should become involved, the AEA has appointed an ombudsperson to deal with violations of this code of conduct.

REPORTING COVID-19 CONCERNS

The University has set requirements and suggestions for the resumption of on-campus activities. The University recognizes that in a large organization, there may be concerns about non-compliance that make graduate students uncomfortable. Graduate students should report any concerns to TGS by emailing covid19compliance@northwestern.edu or by calling the Evanston campus hotline at 847-467-8840. These concerns can include situations were a student is asked to do something or engage in an activity that they feel is unsafe or in violation of State or University guidelines.

CONNECT WITH OTHER STUDENTS

Students in the program are a great support group and can provide answers to questions and offer practical advice on the resources available at the university and in the community.

 

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