Preparing Future Professoriate

Preparing Future Professoriate
I recently did a Google search for “Preparing Future Professoriate” to see what would come up, most of the hits were from Virginia Tech, which, I suppose, is because I was using a university computer and Google’s algorithms. One site that came up was from Ohio State University’s Preparing for the Professoriate Retreat hosted by their Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Preparing for the Professoriate Retreat works to create a sense of community and connectedness for its attendees, particularly underrepresented graduate students. The retreat also provides a scholarly atmosphere of support where doctoral students can share and receive ongoing feedback on their research and professional interests, and assists students with goal setting and outlining a professional plan. Students were also given instruction on how to maintain a balanced life as they matriculate through their graduate program, how to structure their curriculum vita, find finding for their research, the best strategies to publish their work, useful teaching approaches, and tips for navigating the job market.

A student who attended the retreat had this to say: “I learned a great deal from the sessions on how to be aware of and navigate the politics in the academy and make the best out of my graduate studies. In addition, the informal conversation on Sunday morning about surviving academia was enlightening. Retreats like these rejuvenate me and enhance my focus on productivity goals.”

This concept really piqued my interest, especially this week as today, in my Critical Race Theory in Education course, one of my classmates discussed the importance of supporting underrepresented students through extracurricular learning experiences.

Her presentation focused on Yosso’s 6 forms of cultural capital:

  • Aspirational: hope and dreams despite obstacles
  • Linguistic: bilingual and other forms of communication
  • Familial: extended family, living or not
  • Social: networks, resources, contacts
  • Navigational: navigating systems and structures
  • Resistant: continual resistance to the negativity and oppression within a racist system

Her presentation discussed how the pre-college institutes here at VT supported underrepresented and minoritized students’ aspirations for admission into Virginia Tech.  I am interested in how graduate students from these populations at Tech are supported in their intentions to work within higher ed and whether or not this sort of retreat or cohort based system, like the Diversity Scholars, may be utilized to increase diverse recruitment and retention efforts.

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