With competitive pressures and demands by policymakers forcing colleges to increase efficiency and reduce expenses, part-time faculty have become vital to community colleges, providing virtually half of all instruction. Investing in their capabilities can yield long-term returns in teaching effectiveness, morale, and institutional loyalty. Although many institutions include part-time faculty in existing faculty development programs or provide support activities specifically for part-timers, there is limited evidence indicating which activities are perceived most beneficial. In this quantitative study, 49 (51%) administrators and 436 (47%) part-time faculty from nine Oklahoma community colleges responded to a survey to determine if there were differences between the two groups regarding importance attributed to various types of support provided to part-time faculty. Frequencies, means, and standard deviations based on Likert-scale ratings and results of the Mann-Whitney U test provided the basis for analysis of differences/similarities. Findings revealed statistically significant differences (p <.05) between administrators and part-time faculty with respect to their mean rank levels of importance regarding support types related to orientation (campus culture, z = -3.927, p = .000; job duties, z = -3.494, p = .000), professional development (faculty mentor, z = - 5.929, p = .000; activities/workshops, z = -.282, p = .000; college meetings, z = -4.682, p = .000), evaluation/recognition (evaluation of performance, z = -5.032,p = .000; recognition, z = -3.596, p = .000), and two of the three support types within the access to support services category (faculty handbook, z = -2.485,p = .013; technology support/training, z = -2.511, p = .012). However, results for the "access to copier and supplies, office space, computer access, etc." support type showed no significant difference in the responses of the two groups, z = -2.485, p = .561). Recommendations for future study include conducting a qualitative study with in-depth interview questions to understand the concerns, issues, and specific needs of part-time faculty and replicating this study or some variation of it over an extended period of time (several semesters or annually) to ensure consistent and timely results for informing decisions related to budgeting, planning, and selection of appropriate support types.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Higher Education Administration, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Adjunct faculty, Faculty development, Institutional support, Part-time community college faculty, Part-time faculty|
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