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Purpose of the PFF Seminar Program

The Preparing Future Faculty Seminar Program (PFF) helps doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars learn about faculty roles and job expectations and helps ensure that future faculty are prepared to meet the challenges of the current academic market.

Program topics include:

  • Faculty roles and responsibilities
  • Academic job search preparation
  • Course design
  • Mentoring skills
  • Leadership and communication skills

PFF students enroll in 1 credit hour for the fall (GRAD 9010) and spring (GRAD 9020) semesters. The seminar courses are currently being offered 100% online, with synchronous meetings as well as some asynchronous activities. Seminar class meetings are Mondays, 3:30-5:00 PM.

In the spring semester, GRAD 9020 participants have an opportunity to meet with faculty members from MU, regional universities, and community colleges to conduct informational interviews and learn about life as a faculty member.

Eligibility

University of Missouri graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from all disciplines are eligible to participate in the Preparing Future Faculty Seminar Program.

How to apply

Applications due: July 1 (applications are closed for AY 2022-2023)

PFF Alumni and Alumnae and Alumnae Testimonials

I was one of those ones who was super worried about finding a position and a spousal hire.  I learned so much about being on the job market and negotiating an offer.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you! – Letter from a PFF participant who accepted a tenure track position as an assistant professor of science education at Trinity University, a small, private, liberal arts institution in San Antonio, TX.

History of the Preparing Future Faculty Seminar Program

Although most future faculty members are trained at research universities, 93% of all US institutions are not typically involved in doctoral education (e.g., community colleges, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive institutions).

To address the training of educators bound for non-research-intensive schools, the Council of Graduate Schools, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Science Foundation established the Preparing Future Faculty Program.

The Preparing Future Faculty Seminar initiative at the University of Missouri began in fall 2001 and is coordinated by the Graduate School. Our program aims to prepare future faculty for positions at a diversity of types of U.S. higher education institutions, including research-intensive and non-research-intensive colleges and universities.

Academic portfolio

PFF Seminar Program participants will develop a portfolio documenting their teaching, research, and outreach philosophies, activities, and effectiveness. This portfolio will help prepare students for the academic job market.

Elevator pitch and mock interviews

PFF participants develop their communication skills by practicing their scholarly elevator pitch and experiencing a mock interview with a faculty coach, designed to help prepare them for the faculty job market. Seminar materials and activities will provide strategies for effective communication and job interviewing.

Mentoring and leadership

PFF participants receive mentorship training to help prepare them for the mentoring and advising duties of a faculty member. Students will learn how to develop a mentoring philosophy and be exposed to leadership strategies and styles to help them not only assume mentoring roles but also leadership roles in an academic and professional setting.

Multi-campus experience with a faculty mentor

PFF participants have the opportunity to visit partner institutions to gain exposure to alternative institutional contexts. One of our current partner institutions is Truman State University, a public liberal arts institution that is among the top-ranked public universities in the Midwest.  Dr. Lance Ratcliffe, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education at Truman State University, has regularly served as a guest speaker for the PFF seminar program.

The participant and the partner-institution mentor will determine the exact nature and frequency of these visits. A partnership agreement form will be completed, and the student will provide feedback on the visit.

While at partner institutions, participants might:

  • Discuss the institution’s mission and academic culture.
  • Explore faculty roles and expectations.
  • Research the institution’s history and student population.
  • Receive mentoring for teaching and service.
  • Teach a seminar, unit, or course and receive feedback.
  • Attend faculty, committee, or departmental meetings.
  • Participate in faculty development activities.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Lissa Behm-Morawitz
Associate Dean of the Graduate School
behmmorawitze@missouri.edu

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