A key to transforming undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is better preparing doctoral students who will become STEM faculty for their essential role as teachers and mentors. Over the past decade, significant time and resources have been invested in developing numerous teaching-related professional development programs that intend to enhance traditional doctoral training at research universities. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs.
With generous support from the National Science Foundation, our study is exploring a critical yet understudied juncture of graduate and undergraduate education: the preparation of future faculty for their pivotal role as teachers and mentors of undergraduates. Building on four years of research supported by the NSF-funded Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), our seven-year, multi-institutional study is examining the short- and long-term effects of future-faculty professional development programs on STEM doctoral students and their early-career performance.
Participating institutions include Arizona State University, the University of Washington-Seattle, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.