This study evaluated outcomes associated with implementation of an academic Community of Faculty Scholars (CFS).
A correlational, repeated measures mixed methods design was used to answer the research question: What effect does a faculty writing mentoring program have in cultivating a culture of scholarly inquiry? The intervention consisted of three phases. Phase I, used a scholarly writing retreat to inaugurate a CFS. Faculty writing groups paired scholar mentors with scholar fellows for a one year partnership. Phase II, initiated customized strategies to support mentors and fellows. Phase III, entailed celebration and closure. Twenty interprofessional fellows collaborated with five mentors.
In Phases I and III, fellows completed pre/post scales: Inner Strength Scale, Resourcefulness Scale, Climate and Culture Assessment Survey. Program evaluations took place in Phases I, II, and III with number of publications assessed. Paired t-tests analyzed pre/post scale scores. Narrative analysis evaluated qualitative data across phases.
Early findings from the one year CFS indicate five (25%) participants published manuscripts, six (30%) had manuscripts in process, and nine (45%) made no progress on manuscript preparation. All participants reported personal benefit from the CFS experience independent of whether or not they experienced publication success. All fellows successfully publishing, however, demonstrated five scholar readiness characteristics: early tenure track participation, individual follow through with commitments, short mentorship requirements, go-getter temperaments, and predisposition to action as compared to contemplation.
Although scholarly writing is a hallmark of academic life, faculty members do not report receiving consistent mentoring in this area. Participants in this study reported benefit from the CFS intervention. Faculty members also demonstrated having different scholarly needs at different times. For most benefit, investment in a resource intensive CFS intervention may need to be targeted to faculty members demonstrating scholarly readiness. Further study is needed to identify how best to support faculty members lacking scholarly readiness.
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