Who's Involved in PFF

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) continued its efforts to improve undergraduate and graduate education through the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program. Launched in 1993 as a partnership between CGS and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), PFF evolved into four distinct program phases as well as two other separate but closely related programs:

The programs began in 1993 with 17 clusters and a total of 88 involved institutions. As of 2002, the programs included 76 clusters in four phases, with approximately 295 participating institutions. This group of distinguished institutions included:

  • 43 Research institutions
  • 21 Doctoral institutions
  • 86 Masters degree institutions
  • 65 Baccalaureate institutions
  • 61 Associates degree institutions
  • 6 specialized institutions

Many of the involved institutions also served distinct missions and constituencies. There were:

There were a wide array of institutional models represented in the PFF program as well.

  • 53 private institutions
  • 167 state and/or local colleges and universities
  • 58 religiously affiliated
  • 4 American Indian tribal colleges
  • 1 military academy

As a nation-wide initiative, the PFF program potentially impacted 208,222 doctoral students. (This figure is based on the 1997 total graduate student enrollment figures at the anchor, doctoral degree granting institutions.)

The PFF program was sponsored by CGS and AAC&U with support from the National Science Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Phase 1: 1993-1997

In the spring of 1993, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, seventeen clusters of institutions were selected following a national competition to receive grants to create model PFF programs. Five doctoral-producing institutions received substantial grants to establish PFF programs; twelve other institutions received smaller grants for specific initiatives to start PFF programs. In all, 85 institutions were involved in bringing "consumers" of Ph.D.s together with "producers" to collaborate in planning programs that introduced graduate students to faculty life in a variety of campus environments.

Each cluster developed its own program based on institutional interests, needs and opportunities. The clusters were given broad guidelines and were urged to plan their programs in accordance with their students' maturity and stage of development; to include mentoring in teaching and other aspects of professional development; to provide direct, personal experience in institutional settings; and to emphasize emerging and future roles of faculty.

The lead doctoral degree granting institutions in PFF 1 included:

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Phase 2: 1997-2001

In the spring of 1997, ten of the original participants and five new participants with PFF-like activities were chosen to help move PFF from the status of demonstration project to a national model for doctoral education. They took PFF from pilot projects to institutionalized programs. PFF 2 participants also scaled up their programs to give more graduate students access to the program. Participants also committed to sharing their knowledge with constituencies that have a stake in the future of the professoriate and to helping other universities and departments develop their own version of PFF.

The lead doctoral degree granting institutions in PFF 2 included:

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Phase 3: 1998-2000

PFF 3 took on a new direction. With support from the National Science Foundation, PFF developed collaborations with disciplinary associations in the sciences and mathematics. They included the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Chemical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, working with the American Mathematical Society, and the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education / ACM. Each conducted a national competition to select doctoral departments in their fields to develop model PFF programs: Shaping the Preparation of Science and Mathematics Faculty. The PFF national staff, advised by a National Advisory Committee, selected four clusters in the biological and life sciences. Overall, 19 clusters of departments were selected and designed departmentally-based programs that drew upon promising practices learned in phases 1 and 2.

The participating departments, and their disciplinary societies, showcased their experiences at society meetings and in society publications. Each society produced a report that highlighted the promising practices based on the two-year program.

The lead doctoral degree granting institutions selected by the professional association in PFF 3 included:

American Chemical Society

American Association of Physics Teachers

Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education / ACM

Mathematical Association of America and American Mathematical Society

Biological and Life Sciences

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Phase 4: 1999-2002

In 1999, with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, CGS and AAC&U expanded departmental PFF programs into the humanities and social sciences. The American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, National Communication Association, and National Council of Teachers of English collaborated with PFF. Each association conducted a national competition to select doctoral departments in their fields to participate in the newest PFF program: Shaping the Preparation of Future Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty.

The lead doctoral degree granting institutions selected by each association in PFF 4 included:

American Historical Association

American Political Science Association

American Psychological Association

American Sociological Association

National Communication Association

National Council of Teachers of English

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Preparing Future Faculty
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