Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the socialization experiences of new technical faculty: A transition from industry to the technical college
by Thornton, Annette Bordelon, Ph.D., University of New Orleans, 2010, 193; 3414810
Abstract (Summary)

This phenomenological qualitative research study sought to gain insight into the socialization experiences of new vocational technical faculty. Ten Louisiana vocational technical faculty members were interviewed face-to-face. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed to discover how these new vocational technical faculty members transitioned from industry to academe. Data analysis revealed that participants in the study experienced a similar transitional process into the technical college as two-year and four-year faculty into community colleges and universities.

Like their two-year and four-year counterparts, the participants experienced similar challenges related to their new teaching positions, such as balancing heavy workloads, maintaining industry contacts, and interacting with administration, faculty and students. Similarly, they tended to value teaching, collegial relationships with other faculty and their interactions with students. However, some of the challenges were unique to their new positions as Louisiana vocational technical instructors. These faculty members experienced an anticipatory phase that prepared them for the workplace rather than academe. Many of the participants experienced notable levels of stress as they transitioned from industry to the technical college. The stress seemed to be related to their lack of pedagogical knowledge of teaching and the issues of forging a new academic persona. This research found that new vocational technical faculty members enjoyed formal professional development activities that were discipline specific and advanced their knowledge of their craft.

The study also explored the use of Menges’ (1999) Model of Faculty Academic Life as it related to the new vocational technical instructor experiences, role conceptualization, and resources that would help the faculty grow and develop as instructors. Through their shared experiences and stories the researcher identified the needs of this subpopulation and made recommendations for future studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Favero, Marietta Del
School: University of New Orleans
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Vocational education
Keywords: Industry-college transition, Professional development, Socialization, Technical faculty
Publication Number: 3414810
ISBN: 978-1-124-09065-8
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