Professional Development




Students at CIE have access to a wide variety of professional development activities.


Professional Development at UMass


The University of Massachusetts has a wide range of activities on campus and within the Five colleges consortium to help students develop their professional skills. (Please click on the blue links to read more - links open in new window)


The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) is based in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Institute for Social Science Research promotes excellence in social science research through four areas of strategic focus: 1) research methods instruction, 2) building interdisciplinary connections, 3) research project support, and 4) promoting social science visibility.


Graduate Student Resources. The Institute for Social Science Research offers graduate students professional development opportunities related to both research and funding.


The Office of Professional Development (OPD) positions graduate students for success in their careers at UMass and beyond. To accomplish this objective, we help students develop the professional knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in academia, industry, public policy and the non-profit sector. Our training programs encompass a broad spectrum of activities—including presentations, panel discussions, seminars, workshops, site visits, and non-credit courses—that range in duration from one hour to a semester or longer. Each of these instructional sessions builds competency in at least one of four key areas: teaching, communication, leadership & management, and career preparation.


The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is an endowed interdisciplinary research center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. CRF contributes to the university’s mission by providing students and faculty with a variety of research-related services:


  • increasing research on family issues;
  • building a multidisciplinary community of researchers who are studying issues of relevance to families; 
  • connecting national and internationally prominent family researchers with UMass faculty and students;
  • providing mentoring to increase successful funding and management of external grant awards; 
  • providing advanced data analytic methods for training and consultation; and
  • disseminating family research findings to scholars, families, practitioners, and policy-makers.



Participate in Professional Events and Conferences




The Comparative and International Education Society. The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Inc., was founded in 1956 to foster cross-cultural understanding, scholarship, academic achievement and societal development through the international study of educational ideas, systems, and practices. The Society's members include nearly 3000 academics, practitioners, and students from around the world.


CIES organizes an annual conference which provides the principal gathering place for scholars, practitioners and development agency representatives engaged in developing educational systems around the world. In addition CIES sponsors regional meetings as well as Symposia focussed on specifc topics. CIE sponsored students participate in panels, paper presentations, posters and workshops at these conferences. See articles about CIE participation in recent professional society meetings.



Participate in organizing events


CIE has also hosted a number of academic events that provide professional development for graduate students and faculty within the department. Two of the following events are examples of the enriching opportunities that the Center provides.


CIES Regional Conferences


CIE proudly hosted CIES 2013’s Northeast Regional Conference (Downloads pdf).  The conference theme of Education in Uncertain Times focused on changes in education policy and systems due to rapid shifts in the global political, social,  and economic contexts.  Regional conferences are hosted by various universities in the region each year.  Students have the opportunity to present and to attend these conferences.



Beyond Freire


CIE engaged in a five college symposium 'Beyond Freire' (Downloads pdf) which explored Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy theory relating to spirituality and social justice in contemporary times.