Provide comprehensive mentoring to prospective faculty.
The prospect of navigating the university environment and tenure process can seem daunting to graduate students. Efforts should be made to mentor and prepare promising graduate students for entering and flourish in the academic environment (Daniel, 2009).
Offer seminars that orient graduate students to life in academia and convey the benefits of this career path.
These seminars should focus on the many unique components of academia the benefits of holding a faculty position (e.g., autonomy, tenure, flexible scheduling, stimulating work environments, and the potential to mentor future practitioners and researchers; Graves & Wright, 2007).
Highlight and model strategies for self-care to promote healthy personal lives in academia.
Current graduate faculty should model the use of self-care strategies. Graduate students should be aware that academia is a rewarding career option that allows for a satisfying work-life balance (e.g., raising a family and maintaining healthy relationships; Little & Akin-Little, 2004).
Prepare graduate students to be effective university instructors.
School psychology programs can provide appropriate preparation for students by offering teaching assistantships, independent teaching experiences, and graduate seminars in teaching psychology. These types of opportunities will increase students’ marketability and self-efficacy for succeeding in academia (Little & Akin-Little, 2004).
Provide comprehensive preparation and mentorship for graduates
These types of supports include providing early research experiences (i.e., within the first year of the program), making clear assignments of research mentors early on, establishing active and cohesive research teams, encouraging early participation in state and national professional organizations (e.g., NASP), and facilitating early involvement in presentations and publications (Little & Akin-Little, 2004).
Foster a positive attitude toward school psychology research among undergraduates.
Efforts should be made to include undergraduate students into school psychology research groups. Many undergraduates may be unaware that there is a rich research base within school psychology and that many school psychologists hold jobs that are predominantly research positions.
Implement family-friendly policies and programs for faculty members
These policies and programs may include paid parental leave and affordable childcare (Akin-Little et al., 2004).
Recruit practitioners with strong research skills into academia.
Many field-based practitioners have strong research skills and would be well-suited for faculty positions. These practitioners should be encouraged to learn more about non-traditional routes to academia.
Diversify incoming cohorts with respect to career goals.
Students’ potential for scholarly work and career aspirations should be considered when selecting applicants. Furthermore, efforts should be made to pair more research-focused graduate students with research-focused faculty mentors who have similar interests.