Date of Completion


Embargo Period



faculty preparation, professional socialization, organizational socialization, role overload

Major Advisor

Stephanie Mazerolle, PhD

Associate Advisor

Craig Denegar, PhD

Associate Advisor

Aynsley Diamond, EdD

Associate Advisor

Jon Rizzo, PhD

Associate Advisor

Sara Nottingham, EdD

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Athletic training and physical therapy programs suffer from a shortage of appropriately prepared faculty members. The role of faculty member includes engaging in research, service and teaching and may also include administrative and practice responsibilities. It is not understood how junior faculty members are prepared for or balance these multiple roles. Therefore, we sought to understand the preparation mechanisms and organizational socialization processes utilized for athletic training and physical therapy junior faculty members and investigate their ability to balance their roles. Twenty-six participants, 13 physical therapists and 13 athletic trainers completed a one-time semi-structured interview. Data were transcribed and analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Content experts, pilot interviews, saturation, multiple analyst triangulation and member checking reinforced trustworthiness of the findings. Junior faculty members were prepared for their employment by their doctoral degree programs and clinical practice. Upon entering new positions participants described orientation sessions and collegial workplace environments as the primary organizational socialization methods. Participants also described a vast overload in their new positions. Role overload, stemming from a high volume of responsibilities, caused participants to implement strategies such as scheduling and planning. Athletic training and physical therapy practitioners seeking faculty positions should pursue doctoral programs that provide them with hands-on active learning experiences mimicking their future faculty roles. Additionally, clinical practice experience can bolster competence and confidence and further assist in future teaching endeavors. Organizational socialization can positively impact a faculty member’s understanding of their role and permit their integration into the culture of their institution. However, junior faculty members are overloaded by the array of roles they must assume. Though faculty members have developed strategies, administrators and institutions should strive to create innovative programs that aid newly hired educator’s preparation and socialization.