Welcome To PFF
The Graduate Schools of UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T), in partnership, established the Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) program in the early 2010s as a strong foundation for graduate student professional development and career preparation. The program was designed to provide valuable, transferable skills and knowledge that will prepare currently enrolled, degree-seeking graduate students to be successful and dynamic visionaries in their chosen disciplines and careers as they complete their degree.
The PFL program originally consisted of two tracks: one for aspiring faculty and another for students interested in careers in business, industry, government, and non-profits. Because of the excellent services available to current graduate students seeking careers in business, industry, government, and non-profits in the Office of Career and Professional Development, the Graduate School’s program now consists of the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) track only, and emphasizes pedagogical and professional development in areas of teaching, scholarship and service.
Preparing Future Faculty is a nationally recognized program intended for students with an interest in becoming faculty members. Students who finish the program at UNCG have this indicated on their transcript.
- Deliver focused programs, workshops, and resources for professional development that enhance student marketability, career opportunities, and competitiveness in the job market
- Promote interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities for student engagement with peers and faculty mentors
- Support student excellence in learning, responsible research, teaching, community engagement and leadership experiences
- Strengthen student understanding of the job search and the full range of roles, responsibilities and requirements for success in a future career
If the PFF program sounds like it aligns with your ideas of self development please contact the PFF Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up a short meeting.
Preparing Future Faculty is designed for currently enrolled, degree-seeking graduate students who plan to pursue an academic career as faculty. The PFF program is predicted to take two semesters to complete, though this is only an estimate as some will take longer or shorter to complete the program requirements. PFF requires you to attend a series of professionalization workshops, lectures and meetings; practice teaching, responsible research and assessment skills; develop job materials and teaching documents; and learn important strategies for searching and landing an academic job. You will also be required to work closely with your choice of faculty mentors to compile an electronic portfolio consisting of personal reflections, essential job materials, evidence of workshop completion, and other relevant documents.
Below are two documents that detail, to different degrees, the work necessary for completion of the PFF program. Substitution of similar workshops and activities offered by your academic department, professional organizations, or other university departments is allowed with approval from the PFF Coordinator.
How do I become a PFF participant?
Complete the PFF Enrollment Form and contact the PFF Coordinator in the Graduate School to set up a short meeting.
Do I need to have a mentor?
The PFF program requires that you have a mentor. This mentor should be a faculty member who will give you the time and resources you need to be successful in the program. We advise you go over all the requirements with them ahead of time in order to create clear expectations. Your PFF mentor may be your thesis/dissertation/capstone supervisor or they may be any other faculty member with a desire to help you succeed as faculty in your discipline.
Do I need to have a mentor already identified to sign up for PFF?
No. You don’t need to have a mentor to sign up for PFF. However, you will need a mentor or mentors to complete certain PFF requirements, but we allow you the time to establish relationships with faculty mentors as you progress through the program and your studies.
When can I start the PFF program?
You can begin the PFF program at any time in your graduate studies. The average time it will take to complete the program is 1 year (2 semesters).
Is the program only for Ph.D. students?
PFF is an open resource for all currently enrolled degree-seeking graduate students at UNCG or NC A&T.
Is there a fee for the PFF program?
There is no fee to be a part of PFF or to attend any workshops hosted by PFF. Currently enrolled degree-seeking graduate students may participate at no cost; however, you will be responsible for fees or tuition associated with any courses, conferences, workshops, or other activities that you elect to enroll in to satisfy the requirements of PFF.
Can I substitute workshops and activities from other departments, universities or professional organizations for credit towards completion of the PFF program?
Yes. We understand that not all workshops are offered year after year nor will every workshop be applicable to you and your individual studies. You will also find that many other university departments offer workshops, training sessions and courses that would be beneficial to your professional development and progress through the program. You are encouraged to seek out and attend these professionalization opportunities and submit the WORKSHOP SUBSTITUTION FORM to get credit toward completion of the PFF program. If you’re considering making a substitution please contact the Program Coordinator to confirm that it will count towards your chosen objective.
How does travel and parking work between UNCG and N.C. A&T?
Unfortunately, we can’t offer parking passes for off campus visitors attending workshops. We encourage the use of HEAT busses between campuses as a sustainable travel solution between campuses. The HEAT bus schedule can be found at http://www.rideheat.com/. Hourly rate parking is accessible in campus parking garages and with metered spaces.
Do you assign me a mentor?
No. We believe that it is imperative that our graduate students develop a close mentoring relationship with a faculty mentor for success in their graduate programs and in the PFF program. We think that this choice is best left to the student and faculty members to decide. Your search for a mentor should lead you to someone who will support you throughout the degree/program and be willing to meet with you to accomplish the PFF program objectives. Be sure to fill out and submit the MENTOR/MENTEE AGREEMENT form once you and your mentors have agreed to work together.
What official notification do I get upon completion of the PFF program?
Upon fulfilling all of the requirements of the program a review of your portfolio and documents is conducted by the program coordinator for final approval. Upon approval UNCG students will receive an official notation on your official university transcripts of completion of the PFF program. Unfortunately we are unable to give official notation for NCAT student’s transcripts.
Whom do I contact if I have more questions?
The PFF Coordinator is dedicated to helping you understand and complete the program. They will be happy to answer any further questions you might have as you think about signing up or progress through the program. Email at: email@example.com.
Preparing Future Faculty Enrollment Form
This Enrollment Form is required for signing up for the PFF program.
N.C. A&T Preparing Future Faculty FERPA Waiver Form
This FERPA Waiver form is for N.C. A&T students and is required for signing up for the PFL program.
UNCG Preparing Future Faculty FERPA Waiver Form
This FERPA Waiver form is for UNCG students and is required for signing up for the PFF program.
Preparing Future Faculty Mentoring Agreement Form
A copy of this form should be submitted to the PFF Coordinator for every mentor you have agreed to work with. A copy of the form should also be retained by both you and your mentor.
Preparing Future Faculty Workshop Attendance Form
This form should be completed and uploaded to your electronic portfolio under the corresponding folio as record of your attendance for every PFF-sponsored workshop or training session you attend.
Preparing Future Faculty Workshop Substitution Form
This form should be completed and uploaded to your electronic portfolio under the corresponding folio as record of your attendance for every independent workshop or training session you have attended that qualifies for substitution of a PFF-sponsored workshop or training session. If you are unsure about whether or not something you have attended will meet the requirements of the PFF program, contact the PFF Coordinator for more information.
As you decide on and register for the workshops you will attend, please note that a workshop attendance form or substitution workshop form will need to be completed and uploaded to the portfolios. Please note that if a workshop is online it will be indicated in the title and/or description of the workshop.
Follow the links below to the workshop pages from our partner universities:
Selecting a Mentor
Successful Mentoring Relationships Provide:
- Professional socialization with working and experienced professionals in your discipline
- Personal support and encouragement throughout your graduate career
- Advice, support and feedback for the advancement of your research, presentations, publications, and teaching
- Models for productive, ethical, and responsible professional conduct
- Guidance, advocacy, and networking for successful job placement
Although you need to identify a primary mentor, it is beneficial to seek out several mentors to provide diverse perspectives on becoming a faculty member in your discipline.
Building an effective mentoring relationship is a mutually rewarding experience that can be broken down in five steps.
Step 1 – Understanding Goals and Expectations for Your Mentorship
Before you begin thinking about potential mentors, it is often useful to reflect on what your expectations, desires, and goals are for your mentorship.
Step 2 – Identifying Potential Mentors
Potential mentors should be faculty members who share your research interests or who inspire you. Speak to other graduate students to gauge their experience with mentors.
Step 3 – Approaching Potential Mentors
When meeting with a potential mentor, be clear about your goals and how they can help you achieve them. Determine a clear understanding of the time commitment you’re seeking. If they’re unable to help, ask for their recommendations for another mentor.
Step 4 – Beginning Your Mentorship
Once you’ve begun to work with a mentor, think about short- and long-term goals, frequency of meetings, and preferred methods of communication. Agree upon clear expectations on both sides.
Step 5 – Working with your Mentors
As your relationship with your mentor evolves, it may be necessary to seek out other expertise or change mentors. Clear, consistent communication is vital to a healthy mentor/mentee relationship.
For additional ideas and strategies for making the most of your mentorship see: