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Foundational academic development: building collegiality across divides?

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There is limited research into the effectiveness of non-accredited foundational courses for new academic staff. An ongoing issue is that of attention and anxiety overload in the critical first period of employment when the challenges of establishing oneself in a new collegial environment are most acute. Approaches to addressing this issue may be experienced as imposition by academic departments and new academics, while academic development staff may feel that they barely have time to ‘parachute in’ with survival strategies that are often at best highly generalised and at worst counter to best practice. In the present study, new academics were interviewed to gain insight into their experiences. A foundational academic programme is proposed that helps new academics cope with the challenges they face in the early stages of their employment. With this research, another question for further investigation arises: how can foundation programmes work across ‘structural divides’ of university departmentalism?

Keywords: academic development; foundational programmes; mentoring; silo mentality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Heritage Futures Research Centre, University of New England, Armidale, Australia. 2: School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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