The training of effective instructors and future faculty members is a critical component of doctoral programs in sociology. Many universities and departments have instituted a single course, course sequence, or certification program dedicated to the preparation of future academic faculty. This article evaluates the efficacy of one such program, and asks two questions: (1) What are the most useful aspects of the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program? (2) Is participation in the PFF program associated with greater job satisfaction, confidence, or competence? Qualitative data from Indiana University alumni suggest that the program is beneficial for exposing students to pedagogical knowledge, encouraging professionalization, and providing institutionalized support in the form of peer and faculty mentorship. Quantitative data indicate that although PFF participants were not significantly more satisfied or confident than their nonparticipating peers, the PFF program did appear to help to make participants feel more competent in their first jobs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In the beginning, PFF launched in four phases, which were variously funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Science Foundation, and The Atlantic Philanthropies (). For most of these funding agencies, the main priority was to enhance the education of undergraduates. Innovations in graduate training were an important means to this end. Phase I (1993–1997) developed model programs, while the spread and institutionalization of successful programs occurred in Phase II (1997–2002). Phase III (1998–-2002) aimed to model programs in the sciences and mathematics, and Phase IV (1999–2002) concentrated on promoting programs in the humanities and social sciences ().
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- job satisfaction
- preparing future faculty
- teacher training