Background: New faculty members become oriented to their new positions through numerous methods, such as institutional mechanisms as well as networking with various individuals. The process of acculturation is often complex, and best understood from a socialization framework. Role transition for the faculty member is often accomplished through professional socialization, or the experiences prior to beginning a faculty position. However, role transition also continues once the newly minted doctoral student is catapulted into employment. This dynamic, on-going process is often seen as organizational socialization. Objective: We sought to understand how Athletic Training faculty members navigate role transition, from doctoral student to faculty member during the pre-tenure years. Procedures: 19 junior Athletic Training faculty members completed semi-structured interviews to discuss their role transition and inductance into higher education. Data were analyzed following a general inductive approach. Credibility was secured through triangulation, peer review, and interpretative member checks. Results: We found that several organizational mechanisms were in place to support this time of role transition: 1) interviews, 2) orientation, 3) professional development activities, and 4) role consistency. Also, internal motivation and individual inquisitiveness supported this transition, as the junior faculty often solicited feedback or advice from others in their department to evaluate what was expected of them and how to succeed while performing their roles.

Author Bio(s)

Stephanie M. Mazerolle, PhD, ATC, FNATA is an associate professor of Athletic Training in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Her areas of expertise include faculty development, mentorship and role transition.

Sara Nottingham, EdD, ATC is an assistant professor in Athletic Training at Chapman University, Orange CA. She has research expertise in clinical education and mentorship.

Kelly Coleman, MS, ATC is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut under the advisement of Dr. Mazerolle.


The authors wish to thank Jessica Barrett for her assistance with data collection.



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Table 3



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