June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.651.1 - 24.651.16
Graduate Student and Faculty Member: An Exploration of Career and Personal Decisions Graduate school is an important developmental period for individuals who willeventually become the next generation of faculty members, government leaders, and industryprofessionals. During this time, doctoral students may experience varying levels of responsibilityrelated to learning, conducting research, teaching, mentoring, and advising. Each of theseexperiences can enhance the growth of graduate students as future professionals, but, ifexperienced at all, they primarily occur in the context of the graduate academic environment. Inthis paper we seek to better understand if and how graduate student’s experiences in a potentialprofessional role impact the student’s professional growth by exploring the question: What arethe experiences that impact professional development when participating in a program wheregraduate students serve a dual role: graduate student AND faculty member? To this end, this paper presents a study completed while the authors were simultaneouslyactive in both their doctoral graduate study as well as serving as visiting faculty members in thefield of engineering education. During this experience, the authors performed both the functionsof a graduate student (data collection for dissertation work; synthesis of readings for literaturereview section; work on advisor-lead research projects) while concurrently performing thefunctions of a faculty member (consulting on potential research projects; data collection forresearch projects; development of assessment plans). The motivation for this professionaldevelopment program was to provide an experience where graduate students could more fullyserve as contributing member of the academic community and develop the skills needed to feelempowered when facing the competing goals of academia. This work uses an autoethnographic approach in which the authors used reflectivejournaling methods to document their experiences during the academic term where they servedas faculty members. A modified framework of self-determination theory and future possibleselves, based on Kajfez’s recent work regarding graduate student development through teachingexperiences, was used to prime the reflective journaling process. Through analysis of thereflective journals, we explore the ways in which a fully immersive, potential future careerexperience impacted our thinking, identity, and development as professionals in the field ofengineering education. Beyond exploring concurrent graduate school and professionalexperiences, this work adds to the literature on graduate student professional development andthe application of both future possible selves and self-determination theories to graduateeducation.
McCord, R., & Hixson, C., & Ingram, E. L., & McNair, L. D. (2014, June), Graduate Student and Faculty Member: An Exploration of Career and Personal Decisions Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20542
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