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Table of contents
- Faculty Bookshelf: Gregory Semenza | Department of English
- Meditations on the academic work-life balance
- The Experiential PhD
These goals give priority to application, integration, and high-impact learning and emphasize student learning outcomes in inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, teamwork, written and oral communication skills, and ethical reasoning and action, among other learning outcomes see Figure The essential learning outcomes of the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative emphasize the competencies that students need for work and civic participation in the 21st century.
Given the need for innovation in modern economies, employers know that a variety of employee talents are essential to the competitiveness and growth of their organizations. But recent surveys of employers reveal that they see talent as more than deep technical expertise or familiarity with a particular technology.
They are also looking for well-rounded individuals with a holistic education who can comprehend and solve complex problems embedded within sophisticated systems that transcend disciplines; understand the needs, desires, and motivations of others; and communicate clearly.
Very few employers indicate that acquiring the knowledge and skills needed primarily for a specific field or position is the best path to long-term success. Employers report that, when hiring, they place the greatest value on demonstrated proficiency in skills and knowledge that cut across all majors. The skills that they rate as most important include the ability to communicate clearly, both in writing and orally, teamwork, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in complex, multidimensional, and multidisciplinary settings.
According to employers, this combination of cross-cutting skills is more important to an individual's success at a company than the major he or she pursued while in college. Similarly, a survey of Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT alumni demonstrated that graduates rely more heavily on communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills throughout their careers than the specific technical and engineering skills that they learned as undergraduates Box A study conducted by Burning Glass, a job market analysis company, reported similar results.
The results of this analysis speak to the importance of both job-specific technical and baseline skills and the relative importance of these skills by occupation type. Jobs categorized as being within the domains of information technology, engineering, health care, the physical and life sciences, mathematics, and manufacturing require more technical skills than jobs such as sales, marketing, or human resources.
However, even among the highly technical fields a quarter to a third of the required skills deemed essential by employers fall within the baseline skills. The results suggest that higher education should equip all students with the baseline skills needed for success in a wide range of occupations and, to the extent possible, cater specific technical instruction to the student's intended career path but, as noted in Figure , students are likely to actually be employed in many sectors besides what they studied in the college major.
Employers also reported that many recent college graduates have not achieved the kinds of learning outcomes that they view as important. This is especially the case for applying knowledge and skills in real-world settings, critical thinking, and written and oral communication. In these areas, less than 30 percent of employers think that students are well prepared. Greater than 80 percent of employers feel that colleges and universities need to improve in helping graduates gain cross-cutting skills and knowledge.
Large majorities of employers also indicate that various types of applied and engaged learning experiences—such as a comprehensive senior project, a collaborative research project, a research-based or applied field-based experience with people from other backgrounds, or a community-based or service learning project—would help applicants build the cross-cutting skills they are seeking and thereby positively influence their hiring decisions. A Gallup poll of U.
Faculty Bookshelf: Gregory Semenza | Department of English
Though this is a compelling and popular image that is consistent with an integrative approach to higher education, the problem with this image, in the committee's opinion, is its implication that depth and breadth are somehow separable and orthogonal, whereas in fact they work together seamlessly in the most productive and innovative employees. In the caduceus, the breadth of learning that comes from exposure to multiple forms of knowledge continually interacts with and supports the development of depth. These skills include teamwork, communication, reliability, and flexibility the ability to understand and adapt to new ideas.
Career-focused experiential learning—including problem-based learning, internships, team competitions, and all forms of work experience—is an especially effective way to build these skills, the task force observed, and this problem-based learning is often interdisciplinary in nature. This is not to say that technical skills are unimportant, rather that technical skills alone are insufficient. Developing the broad set of skills desired by employers requires more than intensive study in a particular discipline during college.
It requires exposure to multiple fields, practice to build employability skills, and experience with communication and collaboration. When the American Historical Association convened focus groups of Ph. Likewise, findings from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project SNAAP survey, which is administered to more than , arts alumni nationally, indicates that students are receiving unparalleled training in art techniques but arts training is also encouraging experimentation, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Recent alumni who responded to the SNAAP survey articulated many ways that this approach to arts training assists them in their work lives and contributes to their health and well-being, their relationships with others, their ability to collaborate and provide constructive criticism, and their ability to creatively solve problems. Arts graduates often see themselves as leaders at work and in their communities. Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, , p.
Hiring patterns also lend support to the idea that employers value a broadly based education. A study by LinkedIn revealed that the growth of employees with undergraduate degrees outside of science and engineering who entered the technology sector between and exceeded computer science and engineering majors by 10 percent Ma, Today, about 10 percent of graduates with majors other than science and engineering are going into the technology sector, including about one in seven of those who graduate from the top 20 colleges and universities in the United States Ma, In summary, the skills, knowledge, and abilities that employers want are consistent with the goals of many institutions of higher education.
Chapter 6 presents evidence that certain integrative approaches are associated with student outcomes that are consistent with these shared learning goals, including higher-order thinking, content mastery of complex concepts, enhanced communication and teamwork skills, and increased motivation and enjoyment of learning. On some measures, polls of what students want from higher education correspond with employers' desires. According to an online survey of college students—all of whom were ages 18 to 29 and within a year of obtaining a degree, or in the case of 2-year college students, within a year of obtaining a degree or transferring to a 4-year college—more than four in five students say that doing well in their college studies and getting a good job are very important to them personally giving the goals a rating of 8, 9, or 10 on a scale from 0 to Students also know that they need knowledge and skills beyond those of a specific field or major to achieve success, with 63 percent indicating that both field-specific knowledge and a broad range of skills are important.
Further, 84 percent of students say that thinking creatively is an important or very important skill to learn in college, and 92 percent say that a career that allows them to be creative is important The Teagle Foundation, On other measures, however, college students are notably out of sync with employers. Surveys demonstrate that university administrators and students feel confident that higher education is preparing graduates for the workplace, while most employers do not.
However, only 14 percent of Americans strongly agree that college graduates are well prepared for success in the workplace, and barely 1 in 10 business leaders strongly agrees that college graduates have the skills and competencies that their workplaces need. The interest of college students in a broadly based education is reflected in the courses they are taking. Department of Education, Another indication of growing interest in integrative education is the growing number of health humanities programs. From to , the number of health humanities programs more than quadrupled, increasing from 14 to 57, with another 5 known programs currently in development.
Increased enrollments in undergraduate public health programs, many of which pursue liberal arts outcomes, reveal a similar interest Leider et al. An approach to higher education that favors increasing specialization may not be well suited to today's challenges. When well-engineered technologies fail, for example, the root cause is often failures of empathy and imagination, not flaws in technical design see Box Conversely, the most successful products tend to marry mastery of technical design with functional or aesthetic insights about what people find useful, desirable, and beautiful.
In a world being transformed by technology, innovation is a key to economic success. As a recent report from the National Endowment for the Arts, , p. The growth of global manufacturing competition has pressured companies to distinguish themselves on features other than price, volume, speed, and quality. In some industries, particularly in steel, cotton, tobacco, coal, and electronics, companies outside of the U. The ability to innovate has become a major differentiator, with industrial design as one of the key means by which companies are innovating today.
Innovation today requires integrative thinking and collaboration, while technology development decreases the need to perform repetitive tasks and leaves more time for innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration among colleagues and occupations Carnevale et al. Another rationale for the integration of disciplines is the notion that the integration of knowledge promotes innovative thinking that can lead to significant scientific breakthroughs. Evidence for this assertion comes in the form of strong correlations between participation in the arts and individual excellence in science, engineering, and medicine, as well as historical examples that document how breakthroughs in science have been inspired by analogies provided by the arts.
Like Einstein, many of the great minds in science, engineering, and medicine have subscribed to the idea that all knowledge is connected and have actively participated in the arts and humanities alongside their scientific pursuits. For example, the work of Robert and Michelle Root-Bernstein has shown very strong correlations between leadership in science and engagement with arts and crafts avocations.
In a study, Bernstein and colleagues found that very accomplished scientists, including Nobel Laureates, National Academy of Sciences members, and Royal Society members, were significantly more likely to engage in arts and crafts and identify as artists than average scientists and the general public Root-Bernstein et al. Compared with scientists who are members of Sigma Xi, a society in which any working scientist can be a member, Nobel Laureates were 2 times as likely to be photographers, 4 times as likely to be musicians, 17 times as likely to be artists, 15 times as likely to be crafts people, 25 times as likely to be creative writers, and 22 times as likely to be performers.
The Root-Bernsteins and colleagues have also found that sustained arts and crafts participation correlates with being an entrepreneurial innovator. A study that examined Michigan State University Honors College science and technology graduates from the period — found that 1 STEM majors are far more likely to have extensive arts and crafts skills than the average American, 2 arts and crafts experiences are significantly correlated with producing patentable inventions and founding new companies, 3 the majority believe that their innovative ability has been stimulated by their arts and crafts knowledge, and 4 lifelong participation and exposure in the arts and crafts yields significant impacts for innovators and entrepreneurs LaMore et al.
History is full of examples of people who drew upon their talent and passion for science and art to drive new discoveries and advances Root-Bernstein and Root-Bernstein, In his book Music and the Making of Modern Science , Peter Pesic describes how breakthroughs in physical science and mathematics were inspired through musical analogies Pesic, For example, Kepler's Third Law emerged from his search to describe the polyphony of the planets.
Interestingly, history also points to examples of artists contributing to scientific and technological breakthroughs. While these case studies and correlational studies are very interesting and do suggest a relationship between participation in the arts and scientific and entrepreneurial accomplishment, Bernstein and others point out that correlation should not be confused with causation. It might be the case that arts training makes for better scientists and entrepreneurs, but it might also be the case that Nobel Laureates who are concert pianists are simply extraordinary human beings, or alternatively, had more privileged and resourced upbringings than others.
We cannot say with any certainty that an education that integrates the arts with the STEMM subjects will necessarily lead to new foundational breakthroughs in science, engineering, and medicine. However, one can reasonably argue that an educational approach that teaches students to see the disciplines as distinct and nonoverlapping domains may discourage the boundary crossing that has been characteristic of some of humanity's most significant contributors to the advancement of knowledge.
As such, curricula that cleave too tightly to a single discipline may hamstring the ability of students to think beyond the limits of what has already been thought, to achieve new forms of creative innovation, and thereby to better understand and address the challenges of the moment. This chapter presented an overview of some of today's most pressing challenges and opportunities in higher education, including the following:.
The committee would like to thank research consultants Hannah Stewart-Gambino and Jenn Stroud Rossmann for their significant contributions to this chapter.
Meditations on the academic work-life balance
Accessed August 17, Accessed August 18, Digest of Educational Statistics: Table Accessed August 19, The employers surveyed by Hart Research Associates were executives at private-sector and nonprofit organizations, including owners, CEOs, presidents, C suite—level executives, and vice presidents, whose organizations have at least 25 employees and report that 25 percent or more of their new hires hold either an associate's degree from a 2-year college or a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college.
Accessed August 21, Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. In February , the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported the following: Although women and members of minority groups now constitute approximately 70 percent of college students, they are underrepresented among students receiving undergraduate degrees in STEM subjects approximately 45 percent.
Shared Goals for Student Learning Among Diverse Institutions of Higher Education Though higher education in the United States is incredibly diverse, comprising a vast array of different types of institutions that serve a variety of student goals and educational purposes, research has demonstrated that there is broad agreement across this diverse landscape of institutions on certain student learning outcomes. FIGURE The essential learning outcomes of the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative emphasize the competencies that students need for work and civic participation in the 21st century.
Certain Student Learning Outcomes Are Broadly Valued by Employers Given the need for innovation in modern economies, employers know that a variety of employee talents are essential to the competitiveness and growth of their organizations. That's a skill that has to aquired. Enjoy your time in grad, put down studying a night or two a week and go out with your cohort.
A happy healthy you is more likely to do well in other areas of your life. Nov 13, Alexa rated it it was ok. This text has "Twenty-First Century" in the title, but Semenza's ideas and arguments often feel like they're being taken from the 80s.
There's some important information about the mechanics of grad school present in this text but if it's going to be touted as being for the "twenty-first century," it needs to do work to catch up. May 18, Alex rated it really liked it. It was actually very helpful. I have now learned that I will need to acquire a filing cabinet, and an additional five hours for each day. View 1 comment. Oct 06, Nicole rated it really liked it. Apr 15, Sarah Strucker rated it did not like it.
A needlessly mean-spirited and outdated book about graduate study in the humanities with a near-fundamentalist faith in neoliberalism and free markets. Basically a bunch of concern trolling. It's not completely useless--some of the early chapters are useful for demystifying graduate study how to write a seminar paper, how to conduct yourself in seminar, how to balance teaching with research , but more often than not Semenza does some masterful gaslighting. Want to have children while you're in A needlessly mean-spirited and outdated book about graduate study in the humanities with a near-fundamentalist faith in neoliberalism and free markets.
Want to have children while you're in grad school? Semenza's there to remind you that, if you're a woman, you really only have until you're 35 anyway; anything past that is "high risk" I didn't know that having a PhD in literature qualified him as a fertility specialist. If you do have children, you will simply have to "work harder" and give up free time, like millions of Americans do each year. Oh, except for Semenza--he has a wife who can take care of the kids and drive him and his family to see "Aunt Joanie" while he sits in the back seat and gets research done.
Fall ill during graduate school? Don't even think about it. Unless you're in an iron lung, you can't miss a seminar. The evidence? Well, Semenza only missed one seminar in his entire graduate career because he woke up in the hospital. When he was conscious enough to make a phone call, the first person he called was his professor, who demanded to know what hospital and to see a doctor's note.
Get a B in graduate school? Actually, it's the same thing as an F, and a signal that you should not be admitted to further study.
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Get poor teaching evaluations as a grad student? Well, everyone knows that evals are BS anyway Semenza says he knows this, but he still judges harshly anyone who doesn't have stellar ones, or who doesn't make entire sets available. Never mind the fact that women and minorities get poorer evaluations than white males as a matter of course--gee, no wonder they're underrepresented in the higher tiers of academia, with people like Semenza acting as gatekeepers.
On the plus side, he sure does give good tips on organizing your bookshelves and filing cabinets. Slightly patronizing, overly detailed and thorough, and somewhat helpful for "down the road. Many of the chapters were redundant given my experience, though I know many of my classmates think this book is helpful so I shouldn't be so dismissive. But it's unclear who the audience for this is, since it covers every stage of the grad school process and Slightly patronizing, overly detailed and thorough, and somewhat helpful for "down the road.
The most useful and helpful chapter, which I may scan and refer to later, discussed publishing, which is one area I'm not familiar. But overall, this is a book I should've read about 8 years ago when I first began my M. Finally--the author is operating under the assumption that readers will get tenure-track jobs at R1 schools. I would've liked something about the differences between R1 and other schools, as well as other options, e.
I know that tenure is the goal, but those jobs are few and far between, so not acknowledging those other opportunities seems like a disservice. May 19, Jonathan rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. If you've read this, you're probably in a similar position as me: uncertain what the hell you're doing right now in your MA or PhD program. Luckily, Gregory Semenza offers an honest if not a bit harsh view into the world of graduate study and what to expect. A lot of the reviews I've found on here seem to really push that Semenza's perspective is really harsh and will more than likely scare you away from wanting to enroll in such studies.
I found this to be the complete opposite. He does an o If you've read this, you're probably in a similar position as me: uncertain what the hell you're doing right now in your MA or PhD program. He does an outstanding job laying out a good foundation for what to expect, and how to get to where you want to be. I know for myself my current anxieties rest in not knowing exactly what I'm doing regarding publication, attending conferences, all that stuff Graduate Study for It won't be retired back to the shelf any time soon. Sep 18, Massanutten Regional Library rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed-by-volunteers , nonfiction , self-help.
Liana, Central reference volunteer, September , 4 stars: Gregory Colon Semenza does not sugar-coat anything in this book, but for people interested in beginning an academic career in the humanities, I think it is solid, essential if somewhat bleak reading. While I am reading it for a graduate school course, I would totally recommend it to anyone who has interest in doing academic work in the humanities, whether it be a high school or undergraduate student, or even someone who has a friend o Liana, Central reference volunteer, September , 4 stars: Gregory Colon Semenza does not sugar-coat anything in this book, but for people interested in beginning an academic career in the humanities, I think it is solid, essential if somewhat bleak reading.
While I am reading it for a graduate school course, I would totally recommend it to anyone who has interest in doing academic work in the humanities, whether it be a high school or undergraduate student, or even someone who has a friend or relative who works in the academic humanities and doesn't know what the heck their friend actually does for a living. For the tough-love, realistic perspective, I give Graduate Study for the 21st Century a solid four out of five stars. So, while in a way I am still reading this book, I actually finished it some time ago.
Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century was included on my syllabus for my introductory research methods class for my English MA program, and while we were very strongly encouraged to read the entire thing over the summer, it has also been included in our weekly discussion schedule for this semester. However, most of my classmates, myself included, did end up reading the entire book before the semester started.
I've just been revisiting and reviewing the chapters for discussion each week. That's definitely what I'd recommend -- to read it as either an exploratory text long before you begin graduate school, or as a framing text just before beginning a graduate program. Semenza approaches this as a how-to guide, but spends much of the introduction differentiating it from other how-tos out there: Most of the current how-tos for grad school are about getting in; this how-to is about behaving professionally, building good habits, and advancing your career once you are in, and it covers a lot of practical knowledge from the first-semester master's student up to the newly-minted assistant professor.
If you read it as an exploratory text, try not to let it scare you too much, and if you read it as a framing text, try not to let it ruin your excited mood. Semenza hits a lot of things that could definitely ruin your mood or scare you: He looks very frankly at the difficult job market, at the sometimes-deplorable condition of adjunct professors and Ph. However, Semenza's book also contains a lot of really helpful practical knowledge as well as motivational thoughts and wisdom, though that motivation is coated pretty heavily in tough love.
The Experiential PhD
He covers quite a bit about writing both seminar papers and journal articles, which I am certain will be helpful to me later in the semester, but which could also help undergraduates improve their writing. I'm also foreseeing myself returning to this book months in the future to consult the very detailed chapters on publishing and conferencing, and years in the future to consult the information about job hunting and interviewing tips. Chapter three, on time management, was easily the stand-out favorite for me at the present moment, especially since I am currently not looking at a Ph.
Despite that fact, the time management section was full of good tips for anyone at any phase of their education. I especially also liked some of the discussions about thinking and acting like your professors, not like your students; about being a somewhat jealous guardian of your time; about setting a regular schedule in order to get all of your work accomplished; and to remember two things which I unfortunately have to paraphrase, not having the book in front of me -- Semenza states these much more eloquently : That graduate students ought to truly want to, at the minimum, know something ordinary in a deep way; and that a person who will not willingly of their own volition read a Victorian-era novel or other difficult text that was recommended to them should probably not consider a career in the academic humanities.
A note: The book is generally oriented toward people going into the humanities, but in the newest edition, which came out in , Semenza writes in the updated introduction that he learned that when the book was first released in , many professors in fields such as psychology and business were also assigning the book to their students; in the updated edition, Semenza made an effort to revise to make the book somewhat more interdisciplinary-friendly than the original edition. However, I read the most recent edition, and while I can see how some of the information could be very interdisciplinarily applicable, I would still say that a person planning to go into sciences or health sciences may not relate quite as much to or get quite as much out of the book as someone who's planning to go into the humanities or social sciences would.
Despite the large amount of information contained in the book, Semenza's prose is for the most part very clear and well-organized, and I found it to be an interest-holding and fairly quick read. And again, being an academically-oriented book does not make it dry or exclusive. I think that any curious reader or interested student could find something new to learn or think about in Graduate Study for the 21st Century , even if they are not planning on going to graduate school in a humanities field.
Jan 30, Christian rated it liked it. As with many books like this, the exhaustive details leave you feeling two things: "Does anybody actually check all these boxes? Maybe not. The point is that there's a lot of good advice here, but you'd go mad if you tried to follow it all. At the very least, this book was a good wake-up call for me - here's what to expect from an academic career - and it's prompting me to ask that As with many books like this, the exhaustive details leave you feeling two things: "Does anybody actually check all these boxes?
At the very least, this book was a good wake-up call for me - here's what to expect from an academic career - and it's prompting me to ask that second question, "If this is what the career looks like, is it worth it? Aug 17, Liana rated it really liked it.
Gregory Colon Semenza does not sugar-coat anything in this book, but for people interested in beginning an academic career in the humanities, I think it is solid, essential if somewhat bleak reading. While I am reading it for a graduate school course, I would totally recommend it to anyone who has interest in doing academic work in the humanities, whether it be a high school or undergraduate student, or even someone who has a friend or relative who works in the academic humanities and doesn't Gregory Colon Semenza does not sugar-coat anything in this book, but for people interested in beginning an academic career in the humanities, I think it is solid, essential if somewhat bleak reading.
Sep 05, Darcy Bird rated it really liked it. Occasionally out of date and hyper focused on English research, this book provides a helpful view of grad school for the graduate student determined to succeed. Sep 06, Nanette rated it liked it. The student must be invited as a participant to the conference and must supply evidence to support that fact. CWS graduate students are eligible for one conference fellowship per academic year. Download the application form. There are also a number of opportunities to apply for external funding, including Gender and Women's Studies , the Department of English , and the President's Research in Diversity Travel Award Program.
Please refer to our Dissertation Writing Resources. The Graduate College's Career Services office offers workshops, CV reviews, and advising for students interested in the academic and nonacademic job market. In the English Department, graduate students can work intensively with the Director of Job Placement to draft and revise their materials and participate in mock interviews. The CWPA Mentoring Blog contains articles on articulating your WPA philosophy and identity during interviews and campus visits, and it also gives more general advice about the job search.
MLA provides resources on interviews, campus visits, job talks, and teaching demonstrations. It provides a hilarious take on MLA interviews and is creatively designed by one of our own faculty members. Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education offer a number of resources and articles for job seekers.
See, especially, the job-search articles by rhetoric and composition scholar Cheryl E. Karen L. Kelsky, Ph. Center students often form reading groups for a wide variety of purposes: individual classes, intrest in learning more about a topic such as social justice , special field exam preparation, dissertation writing, or through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities IPRH.
See our Reading and Working Groups page for more information. Graduate students enrolled in the Department of English are required to pass a Special Field Examination, which is comparable to the preliminary oral exams required by other departments across campus. The Special Field examination is designed to probe students' knowledge in one or more areas within the larger field of Writing Studies. See our Special Field Exam Resources for more information. If you enter the Writing Studies program as a Masters student, you'll have to apply to Stage II after taking 8 courses.