Ed.D. Educational Leadership
Educational Services and Leadership
College of Education
adjunct faculty, community college, identity, loosely coupled systems, sensemaking, student success
Community College Leadership
Now that community colleges are being pressured by external forces to improve student completion and transfer rates, it is important to determine how part-time faculty are conceptualizing change and implementing it in their practice. They comprise the majority of the teaching staff at these schools, so they are a vital component to ensuring comprehensive change. I undertook an embedded case study to examine how adjunct faculty teaching a gateway English course make sense of the shift in mission to emphasize one school’s commitment to improving student success and whether or not their understanding of this change is impacting their pedagogy. I chose a case study methodology because it allowed me to approach my research from the angle of answering “how” and “why” questions in my process of examining an evolutionary and complex process within a limited period of time.
Data were collected from documents, participant observation in relevant committee work, interviews with eight institutional leaders, interviews with and classroom observations of nine adjunct Composition I faculty, and a survey of 16 adjunct Composition I faculty. I analyzed my data using theoretical propositions and rival explanations. In the process of analyzing my data, two main themes emerged: adjunct Composition I faculty are not part of the formal discussion about institutional change and adjuncts have a secure sense of teacher identity.
Coulter, Denise-Marie, "Adjunct faculty sensemaking in the context of a student success initiative at a community college" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 707.