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dc.contributor.authorByrd, Curtis DeShon
dc.description.abstractInstitutions of higher learning are facing large numbers of ethnic minorities entering majority universities and, to meet the needs of these students, more than diversity programming will be required. Considerable research finds that the holistic approach of introducing more diverse faculty into the classroom can provide an inclusive learning environment to positively affect this influx of diverse students. The primary obstacle to these corrective initiatives is the lack of diverse faculty to choose from. The purpose of this study is to develop effective methods to assist newly minted minority Ph.D.’s in their transition into faculty posts. Action research and its iterative cycles of reflection were used to support an organization (Ph.D. Scholars Program) which has a mission to provide financial support, professional development and mentorship to doctoral students of color to assist them with successfully completing their degree and then place them in academic positions. Many creative strategies were developed to aid this successful organization, by cultivating their programming, enhancing inclusion, voice and social capital of their students and using this to create new portals into the professoriate. Using the AR mode of appreciative inquiry, a team of alumni and the directors of PSP learned that before change could occur for the organization, we needed to supply the team and PSP with the same tools of inclusion, voice and social capital that scholars needed. Providing these innovations allowed the organization to capture various interventions needed to assist their scholars with the transition into the professoriate. Specifically, the AR team was able to develop interventions that assessed the program, generated ideas for change, and created better networks among minority doctoral students and senior scholars. Also, new connections were made between these newly minted scholars and diversity officers seeking to create a more multicultural classroom by hiring a more diverse faculty. This research was grounded in social capital and social inclusion theories. The implications of this research includes how social capital is often needed to support doctoral students of color as they transition into academic positions, to help them gain an understanding of the political, social and rigorous landscape of academic departments. A new awareness was created about how organizations outside of academic institutions can play a significant role in giving voice to minority doctoral students seeking faculty posts, ensuring that they are “heard” by faculty recruitment committees. Finally, future research is needed to explore how to bridge the gap between receipt of a doctorate and employment as a faculty member to assist in diversifying the landscape of new institutions.
dc.subjectAction Research, faculty diversity, institutional diversity, minority doctoral students, minority doctoral support programs, Chief Diversity Officers, social capital, voice and inclusiveness
dc.titleDiversifying the professoriate
dc.title.alternativebridging from doctoral student to faculty member
dc.description.departmentLifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
dc.description.majorAdult Education
dc.description.advisorKaren E. Watkins
dc.description.committeeKaren E. Watkins
dc.description.committeeLouis Castenell
dc.description.committeeLaura L. Bierema

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