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Strategies for Doctoral Students Who Desire to Become Higher Education Faculty Members at Top-ranked Programs
International Journal of Doctoral Studies (2014)
  • Sydney Freeman, Jr., Tuskegee University

This study investigated what strategies doctoral students could employ to ensure their competitiveness in higher education graduate program faculty searches. A total of 39 program coordinators, department heads, and deans were asked how graduates from non-ranked higher education programs could prepare themselves for faculty opportunities, including searches at top-ranked schools. The findings indicate that developing grantmanship, networking, presentation, and publishing skills will help students to become more competitive. Additionally, participants suggested that students collaborate with other scholars, show initiative in their own professional development, understand the expectations of different program types, and be willing to participate in post-doctoral fellowships. These findings will help students who desire to serve at top-ranked doctoral higher education programs upon graduation. A unique feature of this paper includes a discussion of the unwritten values, rules, expectations, and social mores that influence a search process, including the roles of institutional fit, previous academic preparation, tokenism, and race. This study is designed to inform the decision-making of higher education program faculty as they prepare their students for the professoriate.

  • Faculty Development,
  • Faculty Preparation,
  • Top-Ranked Programs,
  • Higher Education Faculty
Publication Date
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Citation Information
Sydney Freeman. "Strategies for Doctoral Students Who Desire to Become Higher Education Faculty Members at Top-ranked Programs" International Journal of Doctoral Studies Vol. 9 (2014)
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