The Future Professoriate Program (FPP) arose from the observation that students aspiring to faculty careers needed to better understand the role of teaching in higher education.
Teaching involves more than lecturing in a classroom and grading papers. New faculty members must learn to manage their time well and balance their personal lives with the various responsibilities of faculty life, such as serving on committees, advising students, understanding tenure requirements, and becoming familiar with their colleagues. In 1993, funding from the Foundation for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and The Pew Charitable Trusts allowed the development of programming and institutional support directed at making teaching opportunities and faculty mentorship in teaching central parts of the graduate school experience at Syracuse University.
The need for a structural response to enduring economic and labor realities for faculty in many fields is now widely acknowledged. Yet graduate training, especially at the doctoral level, has not kept pace with the rapid evolution of faculty roles. The FPP addresses this situation in three ways: by preparing graduate students to excel at the crucial dimension of teaching, by enhancing their prospects on the job market, and by giving them a footing in the shifting terrain of higher education.
Participation in the FPP gives graduate students access to a range of resources, programs, and experiences designed to
- Prepare them for their instructional responsibilities as faculty.
- Ground them in the current issues, trends, and debates informing the evolution of faculty roles.
- Foster an understanding of the diversity of institutions and institutional contexts in higher education, particularly as these bear on faculty life and professional expectations.
- Situate them advantageously regarding the job search.
The Graduate School Programs office (220 Bowne Hall; 315.443.1856) administers the FPP campus-wide. The office maintains enrollment records, generates and sponsors programming of broad relevance to the FPP membership, publicizes events and communicates general information to participants, organizes the annual FPP conference, and, in conjunction with participating academic departments/units, awards the Certificate in University Teaching.
Most students’ direct experience of the FPP, however, comes primarily through the department or college in which they are enrolled. Currently 27 academic departments/programs and four schools/colleges (Newhouse, Whitman, the iSchool, and the School of Education) participate in the FPP, as does SU’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program. These units offer FPP programming and activities oriented to the participants’ specific disciplines or professional contexts.
Students pursuing the Certificate in University Teaching work with a Faculty Teaching Mentor while undertaking their independent, mentored teaching experience and compiling their teaching portfolio. Each academic unit has an FPP primary faculty liaison (PFL) who coordinates the program, enrolls students, and communicates with the Graduate School.