Faculty Publications and Presentations

The Transition from Practitioner to Professor: The Struggle of New Faculty to Find Their Place in the World of Academia

Gary Kinsey
J. Craig Coleman
Effie Christie
Mary Culver
Deborah Erickson
John Hunt
Frankie Williams
Samuel J. Smith, Liberty University
Janet Tareilo

Document Type Article


Becoming a college professor brings both the feeling of self-accomplishment and discernment regarding this prestigious achievement. Most doctoral candidates are practitioners in the eld of public education and will hopefully transition from a principalship to the oce of a college professor. While this journey is lled with personal attainment, some of the doctoral graduates experience a variety of struggles along the way to their positions in higher education. This study examined this journey for some of those who have made the move. The questions posed to the participants centered on the benefits, disadvantages, and suggestions on ways to assist fellow completers who have decided to take a position in higher education. Four primary struggles were identied as a result of the study: (1) struggle with the role, (2) struggle with self, (3) cultural struggle, and (4) future struggles. Through a narrative approach, the participants addressed their feelings regarding the move to a professorship, struggles they faced along the way and the impact the professional change had on their lives.