F7-PRO4-5 - A Literature Synthesis of Professional Development Programs Providing Pedagogical Training to STEM Graduate Students

3. Research Work In Progress
Jutshi Agarwal1 , Gregory Bucks1, Teri J. Murphy1
1 University of Cincinnati

This work-in-progress study synthesizes the literature pertaining to programs that aim to develop the pedagogical skills of STEM graduate students pursuing a career in academia. The United States continues to experience a severe lack of STEM professionals needed to be able to stay at the forefront of global technological advancement. Persistence rates in undergraduate STEM programs have shown minimal improvement over the last decade. Research suggests that inadequate teaching is one of the major factors for students leaving STEM fields. In this light, there is an increasing interest to improve and reward contributions to teaching excellence. But conventional systems, particularly at R1 institutions, continue to prioritize research productivity in faculty hiring and tenure/promotion decisions. While new faculty are expected to be teaching-ready, little to no training is provided to graduate students pursuing an academic career. Since 1993, programs such as Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) have been actively trying to fill this gap in training future faculty for teaching. A comprehensive assessment of current practices in pedagogical training provided to graduate students can inform future changes in policy and practice. This study is the first step of a larger study and aims to synthesize and summarize the current state of programs in universities across the United States that focus on such pedagogical training. Initiatives focused on professional development of graduate students in STEM fields, with special attention to engineering, were screened for programs specifically contributing to pedagogical development.  Published articles in the Journal of Engineering Education, Conference proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education, and several databases available through the University of Cincinnati library Summon search engine were used to find relevant publications on program implementations and evaluations over the last two decades. Qualifying papers were summarized and compared to construct a description of the past and current state of pedagogical training received by graduate students in STEM majors. The ultimate goal of the larger study will be a list of identified promising practices that show evidence of effectiveness in preparing graduate students for teaching and a set of recommendations for redesigning or implementing such programs in engineering.