University of Maryland Counseling Center




Coffee and Conversation

This support group is designed for returning students (25 years of age and older) who are returning to the university after an absence. The group meets every Monday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. We invite you to join us for coffee and conversation in the Shoemaker Building. We are there to share experiences and important information with you over brown bag lunches. Drop in, have a cup of coffee (on us!) and meet other returning students.

Winter Dissertation Writing Retreat

Dissertation Support Group

Many bright and otherwise capable graduate students somehow reach a "deadlock" while working through the dissertation process. Some students feel overwhelmed by the size or scope of this academic task. Many experience difficulties balancing their competing personal, professional and academic roles. Others may appear to procrastinate due to actual underlying concerns about graduating and facing the "real" world. Whatever the reason, this "deadlock" problem plagues graduate students everywhere. Because of the pervasiveness of this "dissertation deadlock problem," staff at the Learning Assistance Service has developed dissertation support groups specifically designed to help students:

  • build skills relevant to completing the dissertation
  • explore concerns associated with graduating
  • subdivide the task into manageable goals
  • complete their research projects

Staff do not advise students regarding the content of the dissertation; that is clearly the domain of the faculty advisor and the academic department. Rather, the goal is to alleviate difficulties regarding the process of completing the dissertation.

The fall group will start on Friday, September 20 from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. in Shoemaker 2122. Groups will meet every two weeks up until December 6, 2013. They are FREE to all UMCP graduate students who are actively working on either a master's thesis or a doctoral proposal or dissertation. Space is limited to the first 20 students.. Please send an e-mail to Dr. Marcy Marinelli ( if you are interested in participating in the group. 



Structured Groups for the Writing Process

For Graduate ESOL students

Description: A basic model for evaluating writing will be presented, which includes the following parts: unity, support, coherence (organization/flow of thought), and sentence skills (grammar/ structure). Steps in the writing process cover pre-writing, writing a first draft, revising, and proofreading/editing; these steps will act as another framework for effective writing. With these structures in place, participants will assess their own writing needs, including grammar; will review rules; and will strengthen their own specific writing skills.

The Structured Writing Group will start on February 25, 2014, and will meet every Tuesday for four sessions: 2/25/14, 3/4/14, 3/11/14 and 3/25/14. The sessions will be held from 2:00pm - 3:30pm in Susquehanna Hall, Room 2121.

If you are an international graduate student interested in improving your writing skills, please register for this group program. For further information, please contact Shirley Browner at 301-314-7702 (email - or the LAS Main Desk at 301-314-7693.