Investing in Our Next Generation: Overview of Short Courses, and Teaching and Mentoring Programs for Newly-Hired Faculty in Canadian Universities (Part 2)

Article excerpt

Newly-hired faculty and their needs have been studied in various arenas in higher education. However, there is limited research documenting current newly-hired faculty programming in Canadian institutions of higher education. The present study is the second in a series that attempts to capture the various types of professional development programs for newly-hired faculty at Canadian universities. An overview of 53 Canadian institutions' newly-hired faculty programming specifically short courses, teaching and mentoring programs are explored. These findings provide guidance for institutions looking to develop new short courses, teaching and mentoring programs for newly-hired faculty, for current programs wishing to know what other institutions are doing for their newly-hired faculty, and for those who are "blazing the trail" to be encouraged in the trends they have established in supporting newly-hired faculty. The ultimate goal is to provide a national perspective of what is currently being offered to support our newly-hired faculty. As a second part in a series, this article focuses on the current overview of short courses, teaching and mentoring programs.

The literature is rich with practical advice or best prac- tices on how to foster the career development of newly- hired faculty (Cohen et al, 2003; Gaugier, 2004; Mackinnon, 2002; Maramaldi et al, 2004; Morin & Ashton, 2004; Solem & Foote, 2006; Sorcinelli, 2000). Equally important is the research on newly-hired faculty and their current state of needs (Schönwetter «Sc Nazarko, 2005) as well as success predictors such as providing a supportive environment (Rice et al, 2000), supportive teaching developmental cul- ture (Boice, 1992; Woods, 1999), and mentoring (Maramaldi et al., 2004; Savage et al, 2004) . Many of these success fac- tors are being introduced through institutional program- ming and services, such as short courses, teaching and mentoring programs offered directly to newly-hired fac- ulty. However, there is limited research documenting these programs being offered across Canadian institutions that support our newly-hired faculty. The present study at- tempts to capture these types of professional development programs for newly-hired faculty. These findings provide guidance for educational specialists looking to develop new programs for newly-hired faculty and an affirmation for those who are currently running programs that are consistent with the findings of this study, and an encour- agement for those who are brave enough to move faculty development for newly-hired faculty to new heights. The ultimate goal is to provide a national perspective of what is currently being offered to support newly-hired faculty in order to enhance their retention at Canadian institutions of higher education. As a second part in a series, this study focuses on short courses, teaching and mentoring programs.

Literature on Newly-hired Faculty Programs

Faculty development programming abound in assisting newly-hired faculty with the goals of improving teaching and professional service skills, the creation of professional development plans, and active involvement in the campus community. This includes orientation programs (Howard & Hintz, 2002; Morin & Ashton, 2004), faculty development programs (Davis et al., 2003; Mackinnon, 2002; Morzinski, 2000), mentoring programs (Croake, 1996; Gustafson & Thomsen, 1996; Horton & Hintz, 2002; Lemel & Sullivan-Catlin, 2000; Lyons, 1996; Purnell, 2002; Selby & Calhoun, 1998), teaching development, research development, (Pierce, 1998a; Sorcinelli, 2000), and learning communities (Richlin & Essington, 2004). Each of these is viewed as important for newly-hired faculty.

What Colleges and Universities Want in Newly-hired faculty

Critical to the success of newly-hired faculty is the ability to meet the expectations imposed on them by the hiring institutions. In most cases this includes teaching experience (Schonwetter et al. …