Understanding Early Faculty Experience: On Becoming Teachers, Scholars, and Community Members


  • Michele M. Welkener University of Dayton Author
  • Michelle Flaum Hall Xavier University Author
  • Mary I. Grilliot University of Dayton Author


This article focuses on findings from a qualitative study of the experiences of pretenured faculty within their first two years in the academy. The authors share narratives from faculty participants who are diverse in their disciplinary backgrounds and prior experiences, focusing on the expectations they had upon entering the profession, the challenges they encountered, and what they found helpful for meeting the many demands of faculty life. Their stories provide evidence of the enduring need for faculty learning communities. Implications of this work can inform the efforts of faculty developers, college and university administrators, and anyone with an interest in supporting tenure-track faculty.