The New Faculty Academy (NFA) concept emerged from JMU’s response to the COACHE survey of 2012 and the subsequent COACHE Task Force report and recommendations. Key data points and task force recommendations focused on the need to improve the mentoring of new faculty and to provide additional career development support. The NFA concept recognizes the need for new faculty orientation to go beyond one day before the fall semester and focus more comprehensively on professional development while also providing faculty with the information they need, when they need it, during their first year. This includes early career support for their progress toward promotion and tenure—or consistent re-appointment, in the case of RT faculty. The NFA Task Force, in collaboration with Academic Council and the Faculty Senate, established criteria for the selection of NFA participants from among new faculty members. Applying these criteria, the academic deans nominate new faculty to each year's NFA cohort.

Structured Sessions - Email for information about registering.

New Faculty Academy participants are invited to attend a series of professional development sessions throughout the academic year as part of the academy. These sessions are intended to assist participants in; navigating JMU, building professional networks, documenting faculty performance, and developing a career plan. Sessions are generally held on the first Thursday and first Friday of each month.

Review Your First Year at JMU (Roundtable)

  • Thu Mar 14, 8:00-9:30 AM in Madison Union room 306 , or
  • Fri Mar 15, 12:30-2:00 PM in Rose Library room 5211 

This session invites participants to join small group conversations with NFA mentors about first-year experiences: Successes, roadblocks and challenges, as well as questions and puzzles that NFA participants have encountered.

Facilitator: Andreas Broscheid, Center for Faculty Innovation & Political Science

Sponsor/partner: Office of the Provost

New Faculty Academy Closing Reception

  • Thu Apr 11, 4-5:40 PM in Rose Library room 5211

Join President Alger and Provost Coltman in the closing reception of the 2018-19 New Faculty Academy to celebrate together with NFA mentors and members of previous NFA cohort. Attendees are invited to engage in semi-structured conversations on future faculty development needs and on how to maintain and build collegial relationships at JMU.

Facilitator: Andreas Broscheid, Center for Faculty Innovation & Political Science

Sponsor/partner: Office of the Provost

New Faculty Academy Mentor Roundtable

  • Fri Feb 22, 12:30-2 PM in Student Success Center room 3202, or
  • Tue Feb 26, 8:30-10 AM in Rose Library room 3311.

This roundtable invites NFA mentors to a conversation about their experiences as mentors this year: success stories, challenges, and solutions. The conversation will also ask participants for feedback on the 2019-20 NFA mentoring program and challenge them to plan their next mentoring steps.

Peer Mentors

The goal of NFA mentoring is to provide a safe, supportive, collegial environment in which to explore a range of issues common to the first-year faculty experience. NFA Participants will be assigned a peer mentor purposefully selected from outside the faculty member’s home department.  Our vision of NFA mentoring follows the mutual-mentoring model in which new faculty create a network of relationships that include peers, near peers, tenured faculty, unit leadership and other administrators, librarians, students, etc. Thus, the NFA peer mentors complement the network of relationships first-year faculty require to succeed, including departmental mentoring support. 

  • NFA participants are expected to meet monthly with their peer mentors.
  • Mentor assignments are completed in early September.  The CFI sends out details soon after that.
NFA is designed to help participating faculty make progress toward the following outcomes:

1.  Developing a comprehensive 3-5-year professional development plan

  • Identify components of a professional development plan;
  • Generate focused, measurable goals for each major component of a professional development plan (teaching, research, service);
  • Construct a pre-tenure professional development plan built around focused, measurable goals tied to specific timelines and benchmarks;
  • Align the professional development plan with the mission, vision, and expectations of the university, college, and department;
  • Identify resources needed to achieve a professional development plan; and
  • Develop initial strategies for acquiring necessary resources.

2.  Building professional networks on campus

  • Understand multiple types and modes of effective mentoring and networking relationships across the academy;
  • Make meaningful, sustained professional connections with peers across the university to support professional development; and
  • Establish meaningful, sustained professional connections with more experienced faculty members from multiple disciplines to support professional development.

3.  Knowing how to navigate the environment at JMU

  • Develop knowledge and skills of effective pedagogical practices;
  • Distinguish between and describe different JMU divisional roles and responsibilities;
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation for the academic culture at JMU;
  • Develop knowledge of university-wide resources to support faculty roles and goals;
  • Develop familiarity with university policies and procedures governing faculty life; and
  • Know key university resources, processes, and support systems through which faculty exercise rights and fulfill responsibilities.

4.  Learning how to apply best practices of performance documentation to career advancement

  • Know the core components for documenting faculty performance;
  • Distinguish among various forms of evidence for documenting faculty performance;
  • Develop strategies for generating and collecting evidence of faculty performance effectiveness over time; and 
  • Assess progress toward self-defined professional development goals over time.

Back to Top