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The Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) A summary of its national evaluation conducted by West Ed, by Myles Boylan.

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Presentation on theme: "The Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) A summary of its national evaluation conducted by West Ed, by Myles Boylan."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) A summary of its national evaluation conducted by West Ed, by Myles Boylan

2 Outline of Discussion What is PFF? Is it unique? The case for -- & potential impact of PFF Its funding history Its impact - basic data about number of various participants Its impact – as measured by survey data from 4 categories of respondents (graduate faculty, graduate students, partner institution faculty, graduate deans) Synthesis and final observations

3 PFF Defined Overarching PFF goals are to acculturate doctoral students to a broader range of faculty careers & better prepare them for teaching and service. [largely successful] A secondary PFF objective is to capture the interest of more graduate faculty in engaging issues of teaching effectiveness, scholarship, and student learning. [largely unsuccessful]

4 PFF Defined (2) A standard PFF organizational unit = 1 doctoral univ. + 2-17 institutional partners more dedicated to undergraduate teaching. AAC&U, CGS, and in 11 disciplinary societies coordinate these units. A local PFF director and select faculty & administrators provide services to participating graduate students. Unit disciplines range from 1 to many.

5 PFF Defined – Activities: Seminars on faculty careers effective teaching Mentoring graduate students for teaching & service Visits/ internships at partner institutions Career guidance & job search assistance ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Student participation - selective in some units - typically voluntary (rarely widespread) Certificates are awarded by some units

6 PFF intersects other activities and initiatives PFF inspired by efforts to improve TAs Many PFF units located in T&L Centers But PFF is more than TA training; It seeks to acculturate students to a broader view. - It also covers advising, mentoring, & service PFF is served by Re-envisioning the Ph.D. and overlaps with –The Responsive Ph.D. –The Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate (ASU, Howard, Duke, IU, & CO are in all 3)

7 The Case for Broadening Grad Ed (PFF) NAGPS survey (32K responses) found students want broad curricula for more career choice & good information about careers. Many in graduate faculty unfamiliar with faculty life in other types of institutions. Culture dominated by research focus Excess inventory of research postdocs with few & fading teaching and service skills

8 PFF Funding History Began in 1994 with a Pew grant tto AAC&U & CGS (about 50% given to 17 universities) Pew provided Phase 2 funds in 1996 to 15 universities (10 also supported in Phase 1) NSF grant in 1999 thru AAC&U & CGS to 5 disciplinary associations to 19 departments APS grant in 2000 through 6 new disciplinary associations to 25 departments Total of $7.8 million awarded; $2.8m to depts.

9 PFF Impact – Numbers Supported 44 unique doctoral universities (28% of recent Ph.D.s, but many fields are not in PFF) Other PFF institutions have started w/o external funding 339 unique cluster institutions 11 disciplinary societies in Phases 3 & 4 ~ 4,000 students have participated fully Only a fraction of eligible students have chosen to be in PFF

10 Skill: Level Research Teaching Service 5, 483% vs. 73%95% vs. 44%70% vs. 26% 315% vs. 26% 5% vs. 26%26% vs. 48% 2, 1 2% vs. 1% 0% vs. 10% 4% vs. 27% According to 175 Grad Faculty Respondents, PFF developed better skills: % of PFF Participants (vs. Non-PFF Peers) Once New Faculty Five Point Scale (5 = High, 3 = Moderate, 1 = Low) 88% of Graduate faculty say PFF has improved quality. 67% believe it has improved faculty mentoring. 63% believe it has changed the culture in their dept. 48% believe it has changed the culture in their institution. - (no difference: single discipline vs. hybrid PFF units)

11 Incentives for graduate faculty participation PFF grants disallowed direct salary support, but –73% of the faculty indicated that their efforts on behalf of PFF are valued and rewarded. –More detailed evidence from discussions and case studies indicate that faculty were not financially rewarded. –Further, PFF work typically counts as service, not scholarship. PFF graduate faculty relatively scarce in most units (e.g. 4 respondents per unit)

12 Activity purpose (# items)VerySomewhatUnimportant Better information (4)*60%33%7% Improved skills (2)**56%33%11% Improve undergraduate education46%39%16% How important were PFF activities to 963 responding PFF graduate students? * On career options, faculty roles, differences in institution types, and job search. ** Through teaching experience & guidance, and by developing broader credentials.

13 Opinions of PFF graduate students Most Valued Specific Activities – experienced gained teaching courses (80%+) – teaching mentoring (67%) – projects at partner instns // courses & seminars 71% // 67% of current PFF grad students 67% // 61% of those now in faculty jobs 60% // 61% of others now employed Least Valued Activities – informal meetings [50% of academics; 40% if out] – Interactions with graduate students from other departments [48% of students, 41% of employed]

14 Perspectives of PFF graduate students Did PFF help get your post-PhD. Job? –Yes = 63% of new ten-track faculty (N = 195) –Yes = 42% of new non-TT faculty (N = 113) –Yes = 21% of those in non-faculty jobs (N = 140) Recommend to peers? – 73% said yes unconditionally – 25% said yes only for students planning academic careers PFF had larger effect on completion (12%) than on increasing time-to-degree (only 9%)

15 31 responding grad deans on PFF Impact 75% thought Phases 1 and 2 had changed graduate education - mostly moderately. 50% thought Phases 3 and 4 had changed graduate education. -- 30% thought Phase 4 had a dramatic impact. They think that their graduate faculty are: – very interested in changing grad ed (only 9%) – only somewhat interested in changing (69%) – not interested in changing (16%)

16 Synthesis and Conclusions PFF has been surprisingly successful (given funding) for graduate students on faculty career paths [students, faculty, and deans]. It has been moderately successful in changing culture of graduate education in participating departments and universities [faculty & deans]. It has not been able to achieve participation by a critical mass of faculty [deans, data], even though initial resistance to it has faded. It has been partly institutionalized in many of the 44 universities and completely so in a few [case studies, survey responses].

17 Synthesis and Conclusions (2) Inter-departmental PFF activities tend to be less valued by students than those focused in their discipline. Inter-institutional activities are very useful. Seminars and courses are very useful. Specific teaching focus is prized by most. Hybrid PFF model embracing depts. & the graduate dean is most effective & most likely to become institutionalized.

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