June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1569.1 - 26.1569.10
The Rising Engineering Education Faculty Experience (REEFE): Preparing Junior Colleagues Faculty members and the future faculty they train (i.e., graduate students, post-docs, andnew PhDs), represent the lifeblood of academic institutions. Moreover, through teaching,research, and service activities, faculty members make a critical societal and economic impactboth locally and nationally. Despite the importance of this professional calling, professionaldevelopment for most up-and-coming faculty members is informal at best. Graduate programsoften emphasize gaining technical knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) through courses andresearch projects, but provide less opportunity for future faculty members to gain the KSAsneeded for teaching, service, communication, assessment, proposal writing, etc. Some fortunategraduate students have advisors that serve the dual role of both doctoral advisor and professionaldevelopment mentor, while other graduate students find mentors beyond their formal advisor tosupplement their professional development needs. However, these scenarios are more theexception than the rule and many graduate students could benefit from additional professionaldevelopment opportunities. To address this graduate student need, we developed the Rising Engineering EducationFaculty Experience (REEFE), an innovative faculty apprenticeship program for engineeringeducation graduate students. The program is founded on models of graduate student development(i.e., Nyquist and Wulff, Kajfez, Kram, and Wergin) and places engineering education graduatestudents in visiting faculty member positions at host schools. REEFE offers students the abilityto gain experience as a faculty member, connect with a new community of practice, and developsignificant mentoring relationships, all while developing the professional KSAs needed tosucceed as a faculty member. As a means to support engineering education graduate studentdevelopment more broadly, this paper will describe the theoretical foundations of REEFE,provide a full description of the program, and discuss our learning after implementing theprogram for two full cycles. (Note: At the time of publication two graduate student cohorts willhave completed the program and the third implementation will be under development.) It is ourexpectation that by presenting and publishing on REEFE we can not only increase the numberand quality of graduate student professional development opportunities, but also encourage thelarger discussion of how to effectively prepare future engineering education faculty.
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