Plan It 4-Ward - WMU Graduate Students

Plan for Success. Following are many resources that can help you succeed in four critically important aspects of your graduate school experience.

This image is the logo for the W M U Graduate Plan It Forward initiative. The initiative arranges helpful content into the four following areas: Financial, Academic, Career, and Engagement. The image is divided up into four equal quadrants with different background colors. The upper left is Financial with a red background, the upper right is Academic with a blue background, the lower left is Career with a purple background, and the lower right is Engagement with a green background. In the middle is a large gold W for W M U

FinancialAcademic | Career | Engagement

Plan for Success. There are many ways graduate students can plan for a successful and fruitful academic career. One is through the development of an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Click here to access WMU’s Plan It 4-Ward IDP tool Following are many resources that can help you succeed in four critically important aspects of your graduate school experience.



Where can I get help making my graduate career financially feasible and possibly more affordable?




Where can I get help with my studies and research?


  • Graduate College Research and Retention -  A variety of resources to facilitate student success are offered through the Graduate College including advising support, writing assistance, and dissertation/thesis coaching for graduate students in all fields
  • Graduate College Events and Workshops - A calendar of events and workshops focused on a variety helpful topics
  • Library Services for Graduate Students - A customized page of links, resources and detailed information for WMU graduate students
  • Academic Resource Center - Coordinates a free campus-wide tutoring service that has been developed to guide the work of students as they make their way through certain courses of study that have been identified as having particularly challenging coursework. All sessions are free and do not require advance registration.
  • College Success Seminars - The College Success Seminars offered through the Academic Resource Center provide a forum to allow students the opportunity to develop new or refine current skills that they may find useful in their academic and professional careers. All seminars are free; they do not require advance registration
  • Writing Center - In addition to writing support offered through the Graduate College, WMU has a Writing Center that offers a free consultation service dedicated to helping individuals better understand, apply and develop various writing related skills through one-on-one, client and text specific workshops
  • Study Abroad - WMU offers several opportunities for graduate students to participate in educational programs in other countries
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program - Offers fellowships for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists from the United States to study, conduct research or to serve as an English teaching assistant abroad for one academic year
  • Disability Services for Students - Advocates for students to be provided with the appropriate tools and academic accommodations or adjustments they need to make education accessible



Where can I best prepare for my career after graduate school?


  • Career Counseling - Career Counseling - Entering or re-entering the world of work can be a stressful time for graduate students. Speak with a career counselor about your career path, trajectory and/or any concerns you may have. Take the IMPACTeX Navigator to identify the key factors that you can personally look for on your career journey to achieve career satisfaction.
  • Career and Student Employment Services - Individual advising in person by phone or by Skype; Find Career Development Specialists; Get help with your resume, CV, job search planning with goal setting and other topics
  • Career Zone in Ellsworth Hall - Get help preparing your resume, CV or cover letter, Drop in hours: M-F, 12-5pm
  • Register with BroncoJobs - Job postings for WMU students and graduates
  • Register with Versatile PhD. Job postings for people who have earned a PhD. Specializes in non-academic career paths.  To access Versatile Ph.D. visit GoWMU > My Self Service > Versatile Ph.D. subscription service login
  • Big Interview - Computer-based job interview practice
  • Career and Student Employment Services Events - Calendar of job fairs, job fair preparation events, practice interviews, employer information sessions and more.
  • Job Fair preparation support - Learn what to do before, during, and after a job fair or other career events
  • WMU Career Development Guide - Provides information, samples, and worksheets to help you with your own career adventure



Where can I learn about opportunities to enrich my graduate experience outside the classroom?


  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) - Its mission is to improve and advance graduate education through partnership, advocacy, leadership, networking, and facilitating the academic success of all Western graduate students.
  • Student Life at WMU - Links to many non-academic student resources and services on campus
  • Student Activities and Leadership Programs - Engages campus, empowers students and develops leaders
  • Registered Student Organizations - Focus on a variety of interest areas from academics to service to sports
  • Office of Student Engagement and Success - A learner-centered, relationship-based support program designed to help students reach their full academic potential
  • Bronco Bash - WMU’s annual welcome back festival that assists students in transitioning back to campus life each fall! An estimated 20,000 students and community members attend annually. Over 450 booths participate to share information, market services, and sign-up volunteers.
  • WMU Signature Program - Offers a student-initiated trajectory to explore and develop one's passions and interests through co-curricular experiences. WMU Signature provides a faculty and staff informed framework for students to intentionally focus their engagement. Upon completion, students will receive recognition with a university-endorsed designation on their transcript and diploma.
  • ExperienceWMU - An online portal for discovering unique opportunities at Western Michigan University
  • Three-Minute Thesis Competition - The Graduate Student Association and the Graduate College collaborate to organize fall and spring 3MT competitions. In this event, graduate students have 3 minutes and one slide to describe their research. This challenging task is judged on comprehension & content as well as engagement. The students with the highest judges’ scores and the people’s choice winner are awarded prizes.
  • Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day - The Faculty Senate, Graduate College, Graduate Student Association, and the Office of the Vice President for Research collaborate each year to sponsor this celebration of the scholarly accomplishments of WMU graduate students from across the university through poster presentations and performances. Faculty judges evaluate the presentations and performances, and students with the highest scores are awarded prizes. Poster examples can be found here 
  • Global Engagement opportunities - Resources to help students engage their global community

This is the university Plan it forward logo, it looks like a horizontal yellow and brown award ribbon, the right side is the ribbon section that is gold with the words Plan It 4 - Ward in brown text on it. To the left is the medalion side which is a pointy brown ring made up of small brown triangles that form a pointy circular shape with the points facing outward. In the center of the medalion there is a large gold W for W M U, and the words Western Michigan University in small text below the W