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Print: Carnegie Foundation Creates New 'Owner's Manual' for Doctoral ...


The study recommends that doctoral programs adopt new structures that allow students to have several intellectual mentors and come to think of mentorship as less an accident of interpersonal chemistry and as more a set of techniques that can be learned, assessed, and rewarded. The study holds up as models programs such as one at Arizona State University that awards an annual $5,000 cash prize to an "outstanding doctoral mentor" or another at the mathematics department of the University of Southern California that places new graduate students in "mentoring triplets" with both a faculty mentor and a more experienced graduate student.

The book concludes with a "call to action," identifying five areas of "unfinished business" that merit further study: pedagogies of research, tensions between disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship, the culture of doctoral education, the changing backgrounds and identities of doctoral students, and methods of assessment.

"Forest fires occur because lightning strikes in about five or six different places, and little fires begin to hook up," says Mr. Shulman, who hopes the book will ignite sparks among groups of faculty members and students, and inspire them to answer questions posed in the book.

"I think there's a reason for optimism but also reason for a good deal of urgency," he says. "If this next generation of Ph.D.'s doesn't come out with a much-better-developed sense of what their role in an academic community needs to be, and especially why full-time, fully engaged faculty are absolutely essential for educational institutions to be responsive and responsible, then we'll see simply an increase in the proportion of part-time faculty, and a progressive decline of institutions of higher education as intellectual communities, and more virtual credit mills."

The Formation of Scholars: Rethinking Doctoral Education for the Twenty-First Century (Jossey-Bass), written by Mr. Walker, Ms. Golde, Laura Jones, Andrea Conklin Bueschel, and Pat Hutchings, will be available for purchase in January. The Chronicle published an excerpt online on Monday. For more information, visit the Carnegie Foundation's Web site.

Copyright © 2007 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

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12/4/2007 8:45 AM

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