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How Six Assistant Professors Landed Their Jobs at Baccalaureate Colleges and Master's Institutions: A Focus on Pathways and Teaching (Un)preparedness

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Opportunities within Graduate Study Programs - Graduate Studies Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors


Natascha M. Trellinger Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Natascha Trellinger is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University. At Purdue, Natascha is a member of the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) and is particularly interested in teaching conceptions and methods and graduate level engineering education.

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Brent K. Jesiek Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Dr. Brent K. Jesiek is an Associate Professor in the Schools of Engineering Education and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He also leads the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) research group, and is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award to study boundary-spanning roles and competencies among early career engineers. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. Dr. Jesiek draws on expertise from engineering, computing, and the social sciences to advance understanding of geographic, disciplinary, and historical variations in engineering education and practice.

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Most engineering assistant professors are faculty members at doctoral universities with the highest research activity. There is sometimes talk at conferences and workshops about institutions that focus more on teaching, but the scholarly community does not know much about the experiences of faculty at these institutions. This paper reports on the graduate school and job market experiences of six new engineering faculty who are currently at either a Baccalaureate College or a Master’s Institution (as classified by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education).

Six new engineering assistant professors, two females and four males, were interviewed as part of a larger research project exploring the pathway to and current experiences of faculty members at institutions of varying teaching and research activity. This paper responds to the following research question: How do engineering assistant professors describe their faculty job search experiences for positions at Baccalaureate Colleges and Master’s Institutions? The thematic analysis revealed thought provoking findings, especially for graduate students as they start their job search process. The findings reported in this paper focus on how the assistant professors were able, and unable, to prepare for their teaching responsibilities

This paper will likely interest graduate students who are considering academic careers and would like to focus on teaching in these positions. Faculty members who mentor graduate students will also find this paper useful to understand how to best support their students as they pursue post-doctoral options. Future research directions will explore how some of the findings and recommendations could be implemented into graduate programming and future faculty and similar professional development initiatives.

Trellinger, N. M., & Jesiek, B. K. (2017, June), How Six Assistant Professors Landed Their Jobs at Baccalaureate Colleges and Master's Institutions: A Focus on Pathways and Teaching (Un)preparedness Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28449

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