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Learning To Juggle: A Model For New Engineering Faculty Development

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.430.1 - 5.430.12



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Paper Authors

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Rose M. Marra

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Thomas Litzinger

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Section 3575

Learning to Juggle: A Model for New Engineering Faculty Development

Rose M. Marra, Thomas A. Litzinger The Pennsylvania State University


New faculty are faced with many challenges, not the least of which is learning to juggle the many aspects of their new careers. While many universities and colleges offer new faculty orientations, many such activities feature an endless array of “talking heads” from administrators, or perhaps “how to” lectures on the mechanics of pedagogy. Having discussed such workshops with other new faculty (and, we admit, even having delivered portions of them – guilty!) we have anecdotal data that indicate such workshops are generally tedious and not useful.

New faculty, of course, need many things to be successful but there is strong evidence to suggest that many of these needs are not met by a traditional faculty orientation. Austin and Sorcinelli [1] tell us that the biggest gaps are related to needing to develop teaching skills, finding colleagues and learning to juggle the multiple demands of their new positions.

At Penn State’s college of engineering, we have modified our new faculty development activity away from the “talking head” model to a streamlined set of discussions amongst the new faculty and selected college faculty. This format allows for both the new faculty and the experienced faculty to share useful tactics regarding all aspects of their new careers (not only teaching, but with an emphasis on teaching), as well as providing the new faculty a leg up on establishing colleagues in their new work environment.

This paper describes the faculty development model we have developed at PSU, including detailed descriptions of each workshop segment. We will also discuss several of the guiding philosophies for the workshop; namely, use the workshop as a way to introduce resources rather than provide endless details on “how to” do this and that; keep it stre amlined and “leave them wanting” more; and follow up with activities sprinkled throughout the academic year.

Guiding Assumptions

Marra, R. M., & Litzinger, T. (2000, June), Learning To Juggle: A Model For New Engineering Faculty Development Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8539

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