JMU's New Faculty Academy (NFA) is a yearlong cohort-based program consisting of a workshop series and monthly one-on-one sessions with senior faculty peer mentors. Inaugurated during the 2015-16 academic year, the NFA is particularly designed for faculty in tenure-track or renewable term appointments during the first two years of their careers, though faculty in other types of appointments are welcome to participate as well, space permitting.

Structured Sessions

New Faculty Academy participants are invited to participate in monthly workshops that will take them through a faculty-focused career planning process as well as discussions about performance documentation and their experiences at JMU. In addition, each participant will be matched with a senior JMU faculty member from another department for monthly one-on-one peer mentoring meetings.

Workshops are offered typically 2 days per week throughout the fall and spring semesters. We provide both an in-person location and online (participants can choose which of the two times and venues they want to attend).

  • One-on-one mentoring meetings are scheduled by the Peer Mentoring partners according to their schedules. 

New Faculty Academy is provided in partnership with the Provost's Office.

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 at the beginning of each semester. The CFI sends out details soon afterwards.

NFA is designed to help participating faculty make progress toward the following outcomes:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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