Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Comparison of Outcomes Between Students Taught by Adjunct and Regular Faculty
by Ayala, Sheryl K., Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University, 2009, 101; 3690541
Abstract (Summary)

At a small, private, applied liberal arts college in the Midwest, student learning and retention are paramount to institutional and student success. The problem was that, an increasing number of adjunct faculty led to concern about whether this factor affected student learning and retention. An evaluation of the situation needed to be undertaken. Thus, the researcher conducted a comparison study to determine whether outcomes for students taught by adjunct faculty were the same as those for students taught by regular faculty in terms of student learning and retention. The purpose of this study was to compare learning and retention of students taught by adjunct and regular faculty.

Three research questions guided the study:

1. What did researchers of reviewed literature find regarding the differences in learning and retention of students taught by adjunct as opposed to regular faculty?

2. What were the results of the comparative study of writing scores on pre- and posttests in English Composition taught by adjunct as opposed to regular faculty?

3. What were the results of a retention study of students taught by adjunct as opposed to regular faculty?

Academic and demographic data were collected from an institutional database. The researcher used a two-tailed independent-samples t test to determine whether demographic and academic differences existed between the two groups of students. She also conducted an analysis of covariance to determine whether any demonstrated differences occurred in student learning. Finally, the researcher applied a logistic regression for retention data on the student sample to see whether a relationship existed between having adjunct faculty in the first two semesters of college and students continuing at the college from Year 1 to Year 2.

No significant difference in student learning was demonstrated between the students taught by adjunct faculty and those taught by regular faculty. On the other hand, a significant decrease in freshman year retention was correlated with an increase in the percentage of adjunct faculty who taught participating students during the first 2 semesters at the college.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sanders, Martha J. Morgan
School: Nova Southeastern University
Department: Higher Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Adjunct facility, Contingent faculty, Higher education, Post-secondary education, Retention, Student learning
Publication Number: 3690541
ISBN: 9781321598230
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