Associate Professor - Definition & Meaning

An associate professor is an academic rank or title typically held by faculty members in higher education institutions. It represents an intermediate position between assistant professor and full professor. Associate professors have advanced degrees and demonstrate a high level of expertise and scholarship in their field of study.

Associate professors are responsible for teaching undergraduate and/or graduate courses, conducting research, and providing service to their institution and the academic community. They often mentor students, supervise research projects, and contribute to the development of their academic discipline through scholarly publications and presentations.

In many academic systems, the promotion to associate professor is a significant milestone in an academic career. It signifies the recognition of an individual's accomplishments, contributions, and the attainment of a certain level of expertise and scholarship. The criteria for promotion to associate professor vary across institutions but generally involve demonstrated excellence in teaching, research or creative work, and service to the academic community.

Associate professors often continue to engage in research and scholarship, working towards further advancement to the rank of full professor. They contribute to the intellectual growth of their discipline, serve as role models for students and junior faculty, and participate in the academic governance and leadership of their institutions.

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