March 24, 2023

As part of an enhanced support for graduate education, West Virginia University is expanding health and wellness resources for graduate and professional students.

Recent collaborations between the Office of the Provost, the Office of Graduate Education and Life, and the West Virginia University Carruth Center have resulted in several new health initiatives, including the creation of a new mental health counselor position focused exclusively on graduate students.

“Research and the university’s own data suggest that graduate students experience high stress levels, depression and anxiety differently than undergraduates,” said T. Anne Hawkins, director of the Carus Center. “Thanks to the support of the Office of the Provost and OGEL, we were able to establish a new specialist position that will focus on graduate student outreach interventions and advocacy.”

In addition to this new position, the team is coordinating a graduate health task force this fall to help assess the current student experience, conduct peer benchmarking, and advise on additional services and programs. The Carruth Center is also developing training, messaging and programming to support the needs of graduate students and faculty. Last year, the Law School and Health Sciences Center added two consulting positions for graduate and professional students.

Last spring semester, as part of their ongoing commitment to improving student success, the Office of the Provost and OGEL began looking at ways to support graduate students at the university, including increasing the minimum graduate assistantship stipend. The change increases the minimum graduate assistantship stipend from $13,500 to $15,000 and will roll out over two years. Also approved an increase in the minimum stipend for some graduate assistants.

“University leadership is committed to evaluating policies and resources that affect our graduate students and identifying areas where we can improve and create additional opportunities,” said Richard Thomas, interim associate provost for graduate academic affairs. “We know financial support is always welcome, but dedicated mental health resources are also needed. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far and look forward to continuing our efforts.”

Faculty and staff are encouraged to remind graduate students of these resources.Details about the transformation of graduate education are part of a series campus conversation Spring 2022, available online.

Questions about graduate resources can be directed to the Office of Graduate Education and Life at 304-293-7173 or For questions about mental health resources, please contact the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431.

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