Engineering Deans’ Perspectives on the Current State of Faculty Development Programs in Engineering Education


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Tempus Publications


There is little literature exploring the needs of engineering faculty and the resources available at engineering colleges to support faculty development. Engineering deans are key stakeholders within institutions well-positioned to discuss trends and practices in faculty development within engineering colleges, however their perspective has not been captured in the literature. The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to learn about the state of faculty development within engineering colleges through the perspective of engineering deans. A particular focus was placed on identifying salient faculty needs and resources available to support faculty development within engineering colleges. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 23 engineering deans representing three types of institutions: R1 public (n = 8), R1/R2 private (n = 6), and primarily undergraduate-focused (n = 9). A rigorous thematic analysis process was completed until a final codebook emerged with strong interrater agreement. According to the deans the primary needs for incoming faculty involved teaching, research, understanding expectations, time management, and connectivity. There were variances in the approaches and resources available at each institution especially in relation to mentorship. This study indicates that further investigating effectiveness of faculty development programs especially mentorship across the various stages of a faculty’s career would be fruitful contributions to the engineering education community.