New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Community Engagement Division
As important community assets for sustainable development of engineering education, faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) play an important role in facilitating faculty development and career transitions. Viewing FLCs as community-based programs with great diversity, the current research argues that engaging with new/junior engineering faculty as a learning community has important impacts to engineering education for students, institutions, and the communities that we work with and live in (Cox 2004). Specifically, guided by theories about communities of practice and socialization, we investigate the participation, outcomes, and perceptions of a New Faculty Learning Community (NFLC) program in the College of Engineering of a large Midwestern research university and discuss lessons learned from the design of these programs. The research followed a two-phase sequential mixed methods design that employed a survey and follow-up interviews. Survey results indicated that the most highly ranked benefits of NFLC included providing opportunities to connect with other new faculty, fostering a sense of community, and learning professional development strategies. Interviews further revealed NFLC offered a welcoming space for advice seeking, networking, informal mentoring, and served as a symbol of leadership support for faculty success. However, quantitative analyses indicated that proactive personality, rather than NFLC participation itself, was a statistically significant predictor of faculty members’ feelings of identification, acculturation, involvement with their department/college, and their overall feelings of meaningfulness of and happiness in life, offering important insights for designing community-based educational initiatives to fostering proactive mindset and behaviors of faculty. The findings reinforce the positive impact of FLCs in faculty learning and pose suggestions for FLCs to encourage and foster proactive behaviors for the success and wellbeing of the community of engineering faculty.
Long, Z., & Eddington, S., & Pauly, J., & Hughes-Kirchubel, L., & Kokini, K., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2016, June), Understanding the Participation, Perceptions, and Impacts of Engineering Faculty Learning Communities: A Mixed Method Approach Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27104
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