Enhancing Quality of Teaching and Learning in the US: Factors Supporting Involvement and Development of Part-Time Community College Faculty Presented by Jamilah Jones
June 15-17, 2009
Golden Sands, Bulgaria
Index Research Purpose Background Literature Review Preliminary Data and Results:Part A: Teaching Techniques, Engagement and Satisfaction Implications Next Steps in Research Part B: Student Outcomes
The Paradox of QualityThe community college runs the risk of being unfairly judged in terms of quality because of its open access mission.
4-year Institutions Measures of Quality:Prestige Selectivity Specialized Curriculum Research
Measures of Quality in the LiteratureDeterminants of quality at the community college:
Instructional and Management Processes
Value-Added Impact of Students
Curricular Structure and Emphasis
Why include community college faculty(professors) in discussions of quality?A salient feature in all standard measures of CC quality is faculty.
Faculty (salaries & benefits) are of the largest instructional expenditures regional accreditation perspective
Shared governance model (decision making, budgeting, and decision making) assumes CC faculty participation
The teaching and learning paradigm is inherently linked to faculty.
The Literature on Community College Faculty Exposing the Gap Investigating leading peer-reviewed US journals of Higher Education30 articles published on the community college 3 articles (14%) addressed CC faculty as a central theme
Investigating leading peer-reviewed US journals on Community Colleges (Twombly & Townsend, 2008)777 Articles on the community collegeOf those only, 11% discuss faculty as a central theme
The literature on Community College FacultyThe utilization of part-time faculty is both a product and mandate of the open access mission of the community college.Industry needs lend to utilizations of industry professionals on a part time basis
The use of part-time faculty at the community college is expected to continue to grow.
Part-time (adjunct) faculty currently account for 2/3rd of all US instructional faculty in the community college
Teaching roughly 1/3rd of all classes
Literature Continued Those studies geared at part-time community college faculty have largely focused on characteristics, satisfaction, working conditions, and suggestions for improving integration (Banachowski, G., 1996, Eagan, 2007; Gappa & Leslie, 1993; Jacoby, D., 2005; Townsend & Twombly, 2007; Valdez & Anthony, 2001).
Studies that move beyond understanding general characteristic of community college part-time faculty, and seek to examine how the terms of their terms of employment affect student outcomes, are necessary.
Literature Continued. A few recent of part-time community college faculty negatively affect student success as measured by attrition, and success in sequential courses. (Burgess & Samuels, 1999; Jacoby, 2006 and Jaeger & Eagan, 2009).
What these studies do not measure are the specific mechanism by which reliance on part-time faculty reduces student graduation rates (Jacoby, 2006, p. 1098).
This Study Purpose:
This study will investigate three variable of part-time faculty use at the community college, as potential mechanisms by which student outcomes are affected:
Teaching Techniques Level of Engagement with the Institution Satisfaction
ENGAGEMENTConceptual FrameworkPart A: 2009Part B: 2010
Purpose Part A. Our goal in this portion of the research project is to identify the prevalent teaching and student engagement initiatives and the factors that support their use by part-time community college faculty.
Single institution studyCarnegie Classification: Associates Public Suburban-serving Single Campus Campus Setting: Rural: Distant Title IV Participating InstitutionNon-residential Quantitative Study Survey: Delivered Electronically to all part-time faculty
About Northwest State Community College (NSCC)77 acres, 5 buildings Programs:Associates of Arts, Science, Applied Business, and Applied ScienceAccreditation by NCACS Student Populations: 5,543 (73% - PT: 27%-FT)Tuition: $136/ credit hourEmployees : FT Faculty -39, PT Faculty 156 , Staff - 233
Northwest State Community College Service Area Counties: Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Putnam, Henry, Fulton
Educational Attainment of Service Area* *US Census data: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html, accessed 5/27/2009
CountyPopulation (2008 Census Estimate)Population Change from 2000 -2008Bachelors Degree Attainment (25+)Fulton42,485 1%13.2%Defiance 38,637 -2.2%14.3%Paulding 19,096 -5.9%7.8%Van Wert28,748-3.1%12%Putnam34,543-1.5%12.9%Henry28841-1.3%11.1%Lucas440,456-3.2%21.3%Williams 38,158-2.6%10.7%
Preliminary Case Study Data from Surveyed Part Time Faculty at Northwest State Community College
Descriptive 1: Degree Attainment
Descriptive 2: Teaching Experience
Descriptive: Cross-Tab, Division/Longevity
Semesters 0-67-1314-2021-2728-3435-41Arts & Sciences52.4% (11)40.0% (4)42.9% (3)0.0% (0)100.0% (1)0.0% (0)Allied Health & Public Service9.5% (2)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Business23.8% (5)30.0% (3)28.6% (2)100.0% (1)0.0% (0)100.0% (1)Career and Technical Education/Workplace Credit0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Developmental Education0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Engineering Technologies9.5% (2)10.0% (1)28.6% (2)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Nursing4.8% (1)20.0% (2)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Total Counts21(51.21%)107111
Descriptive: Cross Tab, Feedback from Dean/Longevity
Semesters Taught 0-67-1314-2021-2728-3435-41Yes42.9% (9)40.0% (4)71.4% (5)0.0% (0)100.0% (1)100.0% (1)No57.1% (12)60.0% (6)28.6% (2)100.0% (1)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Total Counts21107111
Descriptive: Cross Tab, Value and Appreciated/ Longevity
Semesters Taught 1-67-1314-2021-2728-3435-41Yes71.4% (15)70.0% (7)85.7% (6)0.0% (0)100.0% (1)100.0% (1)No28.6% (6)30.0% (3)14.3% (1)100.0% (1)0.0% (0)0.0% (0)Total Counts21107111
Conclusions Part-time faculty will be needed in the future.For the sake of quality, we must do a better job of assessing our part-time faculty.We must support, at the institutional level, maintain part-time faculty enthusiasm and satisfaction, while also arming them with the necessary tools and teaching techniques. The most inexperienced faculty are potentially at the most risk of isolation They report that there teaching is not being assess by senior faculty/deans(these reason should be explored)
For the purpose of this presentation, the terms part-time and adjunct faculty will be used inner changably. Community college faculty or part time faculty in American institutions is meant to be instructors, or those direclty involved in the teaching and instruction (teaching staff). Staff are more operational in nature, this term refers to person who do not teach in the US context. I came to understand faculty across Europe can mean different things so I wanted to clarify this for the point of this discussion. Also when talking about part-time or adjuncts, I am meaning those individual who do not have a full time contract with the institution. *Community colleges run the risk of being unfairly judged in terms of quality by an American society that values prestige, selectivity, and research productivity, and specialized curriculums all of which run as an anti-thesis to the open access mission of the community college. By definition community colleges are largely open access institutions, comprehensive in nature, community-based, teaching and learning institutions designed to foster lifelong learning, rather than research specialized curriculum, selectivity, and prestige.
Much of what we understand and assume about quality as an American society does not fit the community college system, it is based on the four year model which dominates literature. For several reasons (some of which will be discussed later), we often try to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to measuring quality at the community college.*Measure of quality at the community college more aptly noted in the research on community colleges include:Institutional resource, instructional and management process, student outcomes, value-added impact of students, curricular structure and emphasis. *Elman (2003) in examining regional accreditations perspective on part-time faculty relates that there is in the review and self study process, an assumption that there is a direct relationship between faculty commitment to the quality of instruction on the one hand and the quality of student learning on the other (p. 71).
*According to the Lumina Foundations (2005) New Agenda Series, which highlights the deficit in general community college research, and investigation in 2004 of the articles published in five mainstream higher education journals revealed that only 8% of the 2,321 articles even mention community colleges. Likewise another investigation revealed that of those journals focusing on community colleges exclusively revealed that of the 777 articles published only 11% focused on community college faculty.
*There has been a steady increase in the utilization of part-time faculty in the community college. Part time faculty account for 2/3rds of all instructional faculty in community colleges, and teach roughly 1/3 of the community college class load. The utilization of part time faculty is both a product and mandate of the open access mission of the community college.Part-time faculty members in the community college are products of the conception of the institution: their condition as a labor force is identified by institutional context. The context for the community college is largely one that is economic in its orientation and functioning. (Levin, 2007, p. 16). Community colleges to maintain their open access mission must keep their tuition cost lower than four year counterparts. Employing part time faculty, who make up to 35% less than full-timers allows 2-years to cut cost dramatically. (Christensen, 2008)
*Burgess & Samuels (1999) investigate a large urban multi-campus community college in their investigation of student success in sequential math and English courses, while Jacoby (2006) utilizes multiple regression analysis of IPEDS data, specifically graduation rates, net graduation rates, and overall faculty ratio to test his hypothesis. In both cases, there is thought to be a negative relationship between the utilization of part-time faculty and the tested measure (i.e. graduation rates and sequential class success). What these studies do not measure are the specific mechanism by which reliance on part-time faculty reduces student graduation rates (Jacoby, 2006, p. 1098).*This study ultimately seeks to investigate how student success in sequential courses are affected by part time faculty utilization. Before this can be done part-time faculty must be investigated. To isolate faculty into cohorts, part A. of this study will look individually at three characteristics of part time faculty, teaching and student engagement techniques, the level of engagement part time faculty have with the institution, and the satisfaction of those part time faculty. Part B. of this research project, to be presented later, will then look at corelatives between these areas of engagement and satisfaction, and student outcomes in sequential course success.
Tinto introduces the need for social integration (socially and academically) of students to affect persistence. His social integration theory , suggests that when student attributes match institutional characteristics, student persistence is aided. Bean (1990) added to Tintos theory explaining that students attitudes and beliefs are affected by institutional characteristics, and those attitudes (by-products of interactions) affect persistence and commitment. This study will look at the variation of teaching techniques utilized in freshmen English classes at three institution who have drastically different formulas for paying part-time instructional faculty.
*Service delivery region *The state of Ohio average degree attainment (bachelors degree) for individuals over 25 years was report at 21.1% for Census year 2000The 8 counties that make up the service area of Northwest Ohio has degree attainment levels lower than the state average, has higher unemployment rates, and has seen consistent losses in population. Our average degree bachelors degree attainment of our 8 service are is 12.91%. Lucas and other counties make up roughly 5% of our student population.
Degree attainment and population figures are not only critical in understanding the students in our service area, but also the available labor pool for adjunct and teaching faculty. Rural community college often face a challenges because of their locality in attracting needed adjunct labor specifically in fields that are not germane to the area. The information on our demographic also helps to remind us of the need to hire and retain those part-time faculty who assist us in meeting our institutional goals. Demographics like these only show the pressing need for research studies like this that move the discussion towards best practices for higher and retaining the most qualified adjunct faculty, without sacrificing quality or student outcomes.
About the data:The Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program (PEP) produces July 1 estimates for years after the last published decennial census (2000). Existing data series such as births, deaths, and domestic and international immigration, are used to update the decennial census base counts. PEP estimates are used in federal funding allocations, in setting the levels of national surveys, and in monitoring recent demographic changes. With each new issue of July 1 estimates, PEP revises estimates for years back to the last census. Previously released estimates are superseded. Revisions to estimates for prior years are usually due to input data updates, changes in methodology, or legal boundary changes. I have highlighted Lucas county because less than 5% of our current enrollment comes from counties other than the first six. We do not capture a representative proportion of the Lucas county market which houses another community college. *Not inconsistent with what we find nationally, the most commonly held terminal degree of part-time faculty is the masters degree. *Demographics on teaching experience are changing. The overwhelming number of K-12 teachers teaching at community colleges in the past lead to the idea of the community college as an extension of high school. This demographic of labor appears to be changing. Striking here is the large number of individuals with no prior experience (even larger than K-12). *The mean longevity (semesters teaching) at NSCC of our samples, is 9.31, with a standard deviation of, 220.127.116.11% of...