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Preparing Future Professors

Preparing Future Professors (PFP) is a shadowing program that offers doctoral students the opportunity to experience faculty life first-hand at a comprehensive, teaching-focused university or a community college. Stanford students are paired with professors whom they shadow weekly. PFP broadens graduate students' perspectives on higher education and helps them compete for, and successfully teach in, jobs at undergraduate-focused institutions. This highly successful program is offering students one of two choices: an experience at San Jose State University or Foothill College, a community college in Los Altos Hills.

Program Components

  • Paired with a faculty mentor in a similar discipline: Mentors and students meet weekly during SJSU spring semester (late-January – mid-May) or Foothill College winter quarter (early January - late March). Students shadow mentors in their day-to-day activities, observe their classrooms, and participate in the variety of on-campus activities that compose a professor’s on campus life. Students and mentors discuss the joys and challenges of faculty work. 
  • Participate in a weekly seminar course during Winter 2016: Sessions cover the various opportunities for academic careers in a cross-section of higher education institutions and provide an opportunity for in-depth conversation about what students are doing and learning as they work with their faculty mentor (Winter quarter, Fridays 10-11:30 AM). 

Eligibility & Selection

  • Stanford doctoral students, enrolled in 2015-16, who are making satisfactory academic progress and have been admitted to candidacy
  • Applicants are sought from a broad range of disciplines: social, natural and biological sciences, humanities, engineering, and education 
  • A cohort of students representing a range of disciplines will be selected
  • Selection will be made based on a review of applications and the ability to match promising applicants with their desired institution
  • Selected participants must be available for PFP's kick-off dinner on December 3, 2015, must enroll in the weekly seminar course in Winter quarter 2016, and available to shadow during SJSU spring semester or Foothill College winter quarter

How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • A current Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
  • A personal statement describing your career goals and what matters to you as a teacher (PDF; maximum 3 pages, 12 point font)
  • The endorsement of your primary advisor

You are encouraged to discuss your application with your advisor in advance. After you submit your application, an email will be sent to your advisor, who will be directed to a web site to indicate support for your application. If a confirmation of support is not received from your advisor, we will need to remove your application from consideration.

The applicaiton deadline for 2015-16 is now closed. The application for 2016-17 will open in Spring of 2016.

More Information

Meet the current PFP Fellows.

Read more about the PFP program:

Questions? Contact

Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: 

Partner Organization

Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Past Events in this Program