Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


MaryBeth Walpole, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Monica Kerrigan, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Hajime Mitani, Ph.D.


adjunct faculty, graduation, part time faculty, retention, student success, transfer


College teachers, Part-time; Community college students--Academic achievement


Higher Education


The increasing number of part time instructors in the community college professorate combined with low student retention and graduation rates makes research into part time faculty and student success highly germane. My dissertation investigated if higher ratios of adjunct faculty were related to student retention, certificate/degree attainment, and transfer without a credential while accounting for institutional, student body, and county characteristics. The dissertation was limited to New Jersey community colleges to eliminate differences in state policies. The sector was examined over 12 academic years yielding 228 data points arrayed into three panel models to run 12 regressions.

Using results from the dissertation’s preferred model, I found the ratio of part time faculty to have a positive relationship with full time student retention (p=.182) and graduation (p≤.001), and negative and statistically insignificant relationship with part time retention and full time transfer. Instructional expenditures per credit hour, an indicator of full time faculty employment was positive and statistically significant with respect to student retention, indicating that increasing outlays on instruction in conjunction with greater numbers of part time faculty have a mutually beneficial relationship with student retention. Finding implications, including further research and policy recommendations are discussed.