Enacting Efficacy in Early Career: Narratives of Agency, Growth, and Identity

Elizabeth K Niehaus, Jillian Reading, Crystal E Garcia
Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education  •  Volume 2  •  2017  •  pp. 043-058
Aim/Purpose: To explore how early career faculty in the field of higher education administration develop and enact their personal and professional identities.

Background: Participants sought to understand themselves, to understand their environments and the “rules” of the academic “game,” and to reconcile conflicts between their own values and identities and the expectations and culture of their environments.

Methodology: In-depth case studies of seventeen early career scholars in the field.

Contribution: The participants’ experiences underscore important implications for mentoring and socialization that takes into consideration the unique motivation and identity development of aspiring and new faculty members.

Findings: Identifies the early career period as one where new faculty are working to develop a strong internal foundation upon which they can manage the many challenges of their personal and professional lives.

Recommendations: The findings point to implications for practice, both in graduate education and in departments hiring new faculty members.
early career faculty, graduate students, professional identity development, men-toring, socialization
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