Turning Doctoral Students into Faculty in Gerontological Social Work: The AGESW Experience

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Kusmaul, Nancy; Wladkowski, Stephanie; Hageman, Sally; Gibson, Allison; Mauldin, Rebecca L.; Greenfield, Jennifer C.; Fields, Noelle L.; Turning Doctoral Students into Faculty in Gerontological Social Work: The AGESW Experience; Journal of Gerontological Social Work; https://doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2019.1686097


This item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Gerontological Social Work on 2019-10-29, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01634372.2019.1686097
Access to this item will begin on 2020-10-29


Developing faculty interested in aging may help social work meet the needs of our growing aging population. However, doctoral students need a variety of supports to complete PhDs and become gerontological social work faculty. This study explored one program’s role in supporting the development of social work doctoral students to faculty in gerontology. An e-mail invitation was sent to all former participants (2010–2016 cohorts) of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) Pre-Dissertation Fellows Program (PDFP). The 38-question online survey consisted of Likert-type scales, multiple answers, and one open-ended question per section about the program’s impacts on their academic career development in teaching, research, mentoring, and support. Forty-five respondents, representing all six cohorts, completed the survey. More than half reported that the PDFP contributed to their ability to publish their research (64.4%, n = 29), grow their professional network (86.7%, n = 39, and teach (55.5%, n = 25). Doctoral programs provided different experiences than the PDFP, including mentoring, methodological training, professional development, networking, and peer support. Results suggest the PDFP provides content recipients value that supplements instruction received in their institutions. The program’s ability to connect students to each other and to national leaders enhances their career development and socialization into academic roles.