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A Structured Faculty Development Process for Scholarship in Young Faculty: A Case Report

Peterson, Cathryn A, PT, EdD; Umphred, Darcy A, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Journal of Physical Therapy Education: December 2005 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 86–88

Background and Purpose. While clinically trained educators are critical to the success of our educational endeavors, many new physical therapist faculty are not academically prepared to maintain ongoing track records of scholarly contributions. The University of the Pacific, along with the majority of accredited physical therapy programs in the country, was out of compliance with the accreditation criterion regarding faculty scholarship. This case report shares how 1 institution used an external accreditation requirement as a stimulus for program enhancement.

Method/Model Description and Evaluation. The Scholarly Activity Plan (SAP) incorporates the department's and individual faculty member's commitment to developing a sustained record of scholarly accomplishments. The SAP consists of several steps, including: (1) identifying a senior research mentor; (2) creating a research plan; and (3) regularly evaluating performance consistent with criteria published in the Faculty Handbook of the University and accreditation scholarship requirements. The second step, creating a research plan, culminates in a rubric with intermediate and terminal timelines for ultimate dissemination of results through peer-reviewed presentations and publications for each research project. In addition, faculty members meet with the Scholarly Activity Committee each term to discuss progress and potential problems.

Outcomes. Responding successfully to the accrediting body met a short-term goal. Still in progress are the faculty members' success rates with promotion and tenure; however, 2 faculty have submitted successfully their dossiers for third-year retention reviews. Faculty have related that the SAP assists with their own strategic planning for success with promotion and tenure by helping them keep track of short-term goals and progress.

Discussion and Conclusion. Creating this model to enhance our program brought an awareness and sense of ownership to the department as well as individual faculty regarding the issue raised by an external accountability agent. Sharing this model with the educational community in the form of a case report may assist others new to academia in identifying current work products and processes that are worthy of sharing as scholarship of integration.

Cathy Petersonis department chair and assistant professor of physical therapy at University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211 ( Please address all correspondence to Cathryn Peterson.

Darcy Umphredis a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, and is former department chair and emeriti professor of physical therapy at University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211 (

Copyright2005 (C) Academy of Physical Therapy Education, APTA
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