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Mentor the Whole Person: Career-wise Counsel, Promising Partnerships

A new model for humanities Ph.D.s must remain cognizant of the fact that approximately 50% of doctorate holders nationally go into careers outside of academia and that Ph.D. programs must, therefore, support these multiple career outcomes. At Fordham, we have traditionally emphasized the Jesuit value of cura personalis - care for the whole person. We now propose to embed this principle more deeply as a hallmark of our Ph.D. degrees as well.

  • What fundamental transferrable habits of mind and skills do Ph.D. candidates acquire in their degree programs? How can programs support the development of these skills, and help candidates make these skills visible and flexible?
  • How will the role of faculty mentors shift and evolve?
  • What other types of advising structures should be developed to support doctoral candidates?
  • How can alumni of humanities Ph.D. programs be deployed in re-imagining mentoring and advising of doctoral candidates?
  • How can we include community partners and prospective employers in mentoring and advising Ph.D. candidates? What experiential/practical/shadowing opportunities can be created to facilitate career options?
  • How will Ph.D. program curricula imaginatively include outcomes other than academic placements, in addition to academic placements?
  • How will the new Ph.D. in humanities operationalize relations with non-academic partners to support career opportunities for graduates?

Essential Readings:

Leonard Cassuto, “The Job Market Reconceived,” In The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015. 183-208.

Anne Krook, “From Being to Doing: Mobilizing the Humanities.” Plenary Talk, Future Humanities: Transforming Graduate Studies for the Future of Canada Conference, Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (Montreal: McGill University, May 2015)

Vimal Patel, “Opening Doors for the Ph.D.,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2017

L. Maren Wood, “How Administrators Can Help Prepare Ph.D.s for Nonfaculty Careers,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2017

“5 Ways to Broaden the Doctoral Curriculum,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2017


Katina Rogers,“Humanities Unbound: Supporting Careers and Scholarship Beyond the Tenure Track,” University of Virginia, 2013

Council of Graduate Schools and Educational Testing Service. Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers. Report from the Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2012.

Additional Readings

Leonard Cassuto, “The Alt-Ac Job Search: A Case Study,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2015

Anne Krook, “How Faculty Can Support Graduate Students and PostDocs Looking for Non-Academic Work,” Anne Krook: Practical Workplace Advice

Vimal Patel, “Helping History Ph.D.s Expand Their Job Options: An Interview with James Grossman” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2017