UNH Receives Grant for Future Faculty Program

By Michelle Gregoire
UNH News Bureau

September 27, 2000


DURHAM, N.H. -- Recognizing the quality of its academic programs in college teaching, the U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the University of New Hampshire a grant of more than $500,000 from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE). The three-year grant allows UNH's Preparing Future Faculty Program to assist other universities in developing similar programs for doctoral students and faculty.

UNH is the only university in the U.S. to offer a full academic program in college teaching, says Harry Richards, associate dean of the graduate school. The programs, developed under the auspices of a prior FIPSE grant, are offered by the graduate school in conjunction with UNH's Teaching Excellence Program and are designed to prepare doctoral students to become effective teachers.

"This FIPSE grant allows us to take what we are doing on campus to other institutions and assist them in replicating the UNH model or developing at least a cognate in college teaching for their own doctoral students," Richards explains.

The master of science for teachers program is open to doctoral students and from UNH and other institutions and UNH faculty. The 12-credit cognate is open to UNH doctoral students and the 12-credit certificate in college teaching is open to faculty or doctoral students from institutions other than UNH.

"For doctoral students who want to become faculty, these programs represent our competitive edge," says Bruce Mallory, dean of the graduate school. "While other universities may be larger, no other has developed these types of opportunities for its students. Increasingly, the higher-education community is looking to UNH to provide well-prepared Ph.D.s able to enter the classroom ready to effectively teach as well as contribute to the scholarship in their field or discipline."

National studies, and UNH's own recent study of faculty hiring practices, indicate that the Ph.D. alone may be insufficient preparation for the responsibilities faced by a professor. "Our academic programs in college teaching complement the Ph.D. experience so that our future professors leave UNH fully prepared for their responsibilities as teachers," explains Lee Seidel, director of the Teaching Excellence Program. "It is not surprising that every one of the program graduates has secured an academic position after leaving UNH."

For the next three years, UNH will work with Howard University, Syracuse University, the University of Maine at Orono, the University of Connecticut, the Worcester Consortium, a group of 18 colleges and universities in the Worcester area, and the computer science department at Tufts University. This grant will make the UNH programs available to approximately 5,700 doctoral students and 8,000 faculty members at the participating institutions.

UNH's leadership in preparing doctoral students for their future faculty roles and for assisting current faculty to improve and enhance their effectiveness is nationally recognized. The university is one of 15 research universities in the United States to have received funding from the PEW Charitable Trusts through the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate School program for Preparing Future Faculty (PFF).

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