In recent years, the number of PhDs awarded to young scholars has been rising.
But there are many barriers to entry in the field.
Some of the barriers are cultural, some are logistical, and some are simply a matter of time, says Nicholas Trewsbury, professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the Blue Scholars Academy.
Trewesbury is leading a workshop on the best ways to get into the academy in April at the Association of American Psychological Association (AAAPA) in Washington, D.C. In a workshop, the AAAPA’s committee of experts will discuss what barriers might prevent entry into the profession.
In the first part of the workshop, Trewensbury and colleagues will discuss how to get the most out of the academy.
The second part will focus on what obstacles people face when applying to the academy, such as lack of funds, the size of classes, and the possibility of a dissertation.
The third part will discuss some of the ways to circumvent these obstacles.
Participants will be able to identify a particular obstacle that could prevent them from entering the academy and work with other people to overcome it.
They will also get advice on what to do if they have any doubts about applying to an academy, and how to navigate the bureaucracy of the academic institution.
The workshop will take place April 9-14.
More than a million students are currently enrolled in doctoral programs at American universities, according to AAAPAs statistics.
Most of those students do not complete their PhDs.
But a growing number of students are choosing to enter the academy as an option to pursue a career in academia, says Trewssbury.
Many graduate students in the discipline have also started applying for positions as faculty advisers or to teach courses, he says.
Troughton, however, says the academy has a long way to go to achieve parity with its traditional peers.
“We need to see it reflected in the curriculum that we teach,” he says, adding that many PhD students in particular are still coming to terms with the academy’s many challenges.
“They are coming to understand what is possible for them as academics, and to see that as a possibility for their future as academics.”
In the meantime, Troughsbury hopes to create a pathway for the academy to open its doors to more students.
He says that by developing a better understanding of what the academy is all about, the academy can be a good resource for students interested in studying in the humanities, social sciences, and business.
He is also exploring ways to encourage more students to apply to the Academy.
“I think the next challenge is to have a dialogue around what it means to be a Blue Scholar,” Trewins says.
“To say to people who are applying to this academy, I think I’m a Blue Scholars, I’ve never done it before, and I’m not sure how I got here.
To say to others, well, I’m an American and I’ve done it.
And we can work together to change this.”
For more information about the Blue Scholar Academy, visit www.blue-scholars.org.