Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fitting in: A case study of new faculty socialization at West Point
by West, Holly F., Ph.D., New York University, 2012, 213; 3493873
Abstract (Summary)

What is it about the ways colleges and universities develop faculty members that makes some new faculty members feel competent and others helpless, makes some feel like effective members of the organization and others feel isolated and rejected? The answers lie in the study of the socialization process of new faculty members. At West Point, after going through the socialization process, the new faculty members believed they were competent, contributing members of their departments. They internalized the values and mission of the Academy and their department, and understood what it meant to be effective instructors. Additionally, they were socialized with a peer group that provided collaboration and support and eased the new faculty members' transition. Research shows that the attitudes and experiences of the new faculty at West Point are drastically different from those of their peers at other higher education institutions.

The purpose of this study was to examine the faculty socialization process, paying close attention to the various strategies used and the organizational outcomes of the departmental programs. Due to the existence of structured new faculty socialization programs at the department level, West Point was selected as the site for the study. One of the main reasons the socialization programs at West Point were effective was because they were planned, coordinated and supported with both time and resources by all levels of leadership.

At West Point, faculty development begins with socialization. West Point combined faculty development techniques into one program, creating an effective new faculty socialization experience. Peer coaching, mentorship and learning communities were the three integral techniques used during the summer programs. Although they have been proven to be effective techniques individually, there is limited research on the applicability of combining these techniques into one program, especially socialization or orientation programs. This study contributes to the research by describing the positive outcomes that result from using a combination of these techniques to socialize new faculty members.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richardson, Richard
Commitee: Marcus, Ann, Meese, Michael
School: New York University
Department: Administration, Leadership, and Technology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Organizational behavior, Higher education, Military studies
Keywords: Colleges and universities, Faculty, Learning communities, New York, Peer mentoring, Socialization, West Point
Publication Number: 3493873
ISBN: 9781267148872
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