ERIC Number: ED304617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Professional Competence in Mid-Career College Faculty Members: Antecedents and Correlates.
Willis, Sherry L.; Tosti-Vasey, Joanne
Professional competence involves the professional's ability to function effectively in the tasks and proficiencies considered essential within a given profession. For mid-career professionals, the maintenance of professional competence becomes a major concern. This study examined the personal and institutional characteristics that are associated with being professionally competent and up-to-date in certain academic fields and the salience of certain personality characteristics in differentiating between mid-career college faculty members who are more versus less up-to-date with regard to their academic field. Subjects were faculty members (N=105) at 2- and 4-year colleges. The primary responsibility of these faculty members was teaching rather than research. They represented the fields of engineering (N=28) and English (N=77). Subjects participated in a 1-hour interview and completed a personality questionnaire and a professional currency measure. Results showed professional competence was most directly related to the activities of the faculty members, rather than to personal and institutional characteristics. Reading of professional journals was a major mechanism for maintaining professional currency for both English and engineering faculty. Involvement in professional organizations was associated with being more professionally current. Time spent in research and publishing was positively related to professional currency in teaching responsibilities. Current faculty members perceived achievement to be a more salient characteristic or need than less current subjects. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society (41st, San Francisco, CA, November 18-22, 1988).