“The ability of new faculty to navigate the early years is critical to their success in and satisfaction with an academic career” (Sorcinelli, 1994).

Factors that influence success and satisfaction:

Time constraints
A major contributor to stress for all members of academic from grad students to new faculty is the lack of time to meet goals (Whit, 1991). This may come from the several factors such as amounts of courses and the preparation, the balancing with other responsibilities such as committees or research, and the advising or dealing with student learning issues. Olsen & Sorcinelli, (1992) reported that by year five junior faculty's satisfaction with the amount of time to meet their goals was continuing to decline.

Unrealistic Expectations
New faculty may have excessively high expectations of themselves and these often unrealistic demands are furthered by deans and departments chairs (Whit, 1991). When it becomes increasingly difficult to meet these self-imposed standards, the level of frustration, satisfaction and even success may decrease. Coser (1974) uses the term greedy institutions for those institutions that place exceedingly high expectations and demands on their faculty.

Balancing Work and Life Roles
New faculty often are trying to balance academic roles with family responsibilities. Sorceinelli & Near (1989) stated that new faculty reported much more of a degree of work interfering with life than was the case with more experienced or tenured faculty. Conflicts included time for spouses and children, and leisure activities.

New faculty that reported work life as very stressful increased from 33% in year one to 71% in year five Sorcinelli (1994).


Training for New Faculty (Cohen, Brawer, & Kisker, 2013, Chapter 3)

- Preservice Training
  • For traditional academic departments, the master's degree is the most typical preparation (a doctoral degree is usually not expected)
  • Few faculty are prepared in programs that specifically prepare them for teaching at the community college level
- In-Service Training
  • New faculty orientation programs
  • Mentorship from experienced faculty


Cohen, A. M., Brawer, F.B., & Kisker, C.B. (2013). The American community college (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Coser, L. A. (1974). Greedy institutions: Patterns of undivided commitment. New York, NY: The Free Press.
Olsen, D. & Sorcinelli, M.D. (1992). The pretenure years: A longitudinal perspective. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1992(50), 15-25. doi:10.1002/tl.37219925004
Sorcinelli, M.D. (1994). Effective approaches to new faculty development. Journal of Counseling & Development, 72, 474-479.
Sorcinelli, M.D. & Near, J. (1989). Relations between work and life away from work among university faculty. Journal of Higher Education, 60, 59- 81.
Whit, E. (1991). Hit the ground running: Experiences of new faculty in a school of education. Review of Higher Education, 14, 177-197.