Preparing Future Faculty

2019-2020 PFF Class


2020-2021 PFF Program


The Preparing Future Faculty certificate program is coordinated and taught by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) but is a cooperative effort between CTL, the Office of the Graduate School and Mississippi State University Libraries. The program is intended to assist current graduate students in preparing for future faculty careers.

In order to earn the Preparing Future Faculty Program Certification, participants must attend the required class meeting dates and class activities. Please note the detailed schedule below.

Instructor Information

  • Amy Barefield is an Instructional Resource Consultant with the Center for Teaching and Learning and an English instructor. She has twenty years of teaching experience in k-12 and higher education. (Email:
  • Michael W. Seymour is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and the Acting Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. He has fourteen years of teaching experience at MSU and is a Grisham Master Teacher. (Email:
  • Dr. Kelly Marsh is Professor of English and a Faculty Associate with the Center for Teaching and Learning. She has twenty-two years of teaching experience at MSU and is a Grisham Master Teacher. (Email:
  • Dr. Anastasia Elder is a Professor of Educational Psychology, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research in Shackouls Honors College, and Faculty Associate with Center for Teaching and Learning.  She has taught at Mississippi State since 1999 and has served on or directed over 40 dissertations and theses. (Email:
  • Dr. Lesley Strawderman is a professor of Industrial Engineering and a Faculty Associate with the Center for Teaching and Learning.  She has taught at MSU since 2006, and has earned teaching awards from the Bagley College of Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education. (Email:

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to:
  • Analyze a class syllabus
  • Identify active learning techniques for use in class
  • Explain expectations regarding faculty roles and responsibilities
  • Explain current thinking regarding best teaching practices
  • Compose a teaching philosophy statement
  • Recognize expectations regarding scholarly activities in higher education
  • Prepare for an interview for a faculty position
  • Evaluate their own instruction in terms of successes and difficulties

Participant Benefits

  • Improved understanding of teaching and learning
  • Improved understanding of faculty roles and responsibilities
  • Interaction with peers and faculty across disciplines
  • Improved preparation for faculty positions and the job market

Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 1

Required Class Meeting and Due Dates

Note: Classes will be synchronous delivery via WebEx 12:00-1:30 pm on the following dates. Homework assignments will be posted on Canvas. Spring dates are tentative.

Fall 2020

Date Topic Assignment Due
September 18 Program Introduction/Getting Started in the Classroom and Disciplinary Principles/Preparing for the Unexpected Reading and written reflection on basics of teaching face to face and online and discussion of University policy and procedure
October 2 Quality Teaching Reading and written reflection on quality teaching
October 23 Balancing Act Reading and written reflection on faculty roles and responsibilities
November 6 Teaching Observation Written reflection and discussion of faculty observation

Spring 2021

Date Topic Assignment
January 22 Research/Scholarly Activities/Grant Writing Reading and written reflection on scholarly activity in field
February 5 Teaching Philosophy, Vitae and Portfolios Teaching philosophy review and Draft
February 26 Interviewing for Faculty Positions Reading and reflection on jobs in Academia
March 12 Teaching Capstone Discussion Reading and reflection on challenges of teaching
March 26 Conclusion Reflection on PFF program

In addition to the class periods above, participants must attend two per semester of the Center for Teaching and Learning events. Participants must make sure to sign-in at each event in order to receive credit for attendance.

Online Teaching Certification (Recommended)

In addition to the PFF certification, the Center for Teaching and Learning offers an online certification course, which we encourage candidates to complete. Online Teaching 101 is an online training course that leads participants through some of the issues in quality online or distance instruction.  Successful completion leads to distance/online certification. Delivered 100% online.  Information and registration can be found at

Resources (a more detailed listing will be available in program workbook):


Fill out the entire application form and send the form to your Advisor for his/her e-signature. The application should then go to your Department Head and Graduate Coordinator for their e-signatures. Once all three signatures are completed, click the “Submit” button. The form will be sent to If you have problems submitting the form, you may attach it to an email and send to and