Preparing for the Professoriate: A Conversation on How to Realign Graduate Education with Careers in the Professoriate

AHA Session 151
Saturday, January 5, 2019: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Williford C (Hilton Chicago, Third Floor)
Natalie Mendoza, University of Colorado Boulder
Christopher M. Church, University of Nevada at Reno
Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder
Kerry Shannon, University of California, Berkeley
Marcia A. Yonemoto, University of Colorado Boulder

Session Abstract

In a 2013 study on job outcomes for history PhDs, the American Historical Association (AHA) found that close to 70% of historians end up as faculty (tenure-track and non-tenure-track) in an institution of higher education (2-year or 4-year, research intensive or teaching intensive). Many doctoral programs center on training students to be researchers, but devote far less time--if any--to training students to be teachers. What can we do to better prepare doctoral students for the teaching they will do as faculty? How can we help prepare them for the transition from teaching as TAs to teaching as instructors-of-record? What about administrative duties they will assume when they become faculty members? How do administrative and service responsibilities differ across institutions, from liberal arts colleges to public universities to community colleges? How can we incorporate training for this into doctoral program curriculum? In considering these questions and others, this roundtable builds upon the AHA’s Career Diversity initiative and its effort to consider how we might realign history graduate student education to better prepare students for careers in the professoriate. While the roundtable is comprised of historians, the questions it asks are relevant to doctoral education in general, and are therefore applicable across disciplines.

The roundtable consists of both graduate students and faculty in an effort to generate a robust discussion. Importantly, graduate students are central to the roundtable to ensure we consider the pressing questions and concerns that matter most to them. In addition to the broad questions posed above, graduate students will solicit questions from their home institutions and share them with faculty panelists. The goal here is to reach across both sides of the PhD and begin a dialogue on how to realign graduate education with job outcomes by taking stock of the challenges as they exist across institutions and career trajectories. The diversity in undergraduate and graduate education, area of study, gender, race, and ethnicity, and current institutional affiliation of the participants are also critical to promoting a conversation that touches upon similarities, but especially differences, in experiences. We anticipate a lively discussion between graduate students and faculty, and we welcome audience members--especially MLA attendees--to join in during the Q&A. The round table will be chaired by Dr. Natalie Mendoza, a postdoctoral research associate and project lead for the History Teaching & Learning Project at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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