ERIC Number: ED456785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Caveat Emptor: Is There a Relationship between Part-Time Faculty Utilization and Student Learning Outcomes and Retention? AIR 2001 Annual Forum Paper.
Harrington, Charles; Schibik, Timothy
The relationship between the use of part-time faculty and student retention was studied at a comprehensive Midwestern university. Of particular interest was the degree to which first-time full-time freshmen were exposed to part-time faculty and whether there are ways to determine if faculty status, defined as part-time versus full-time, have a discernible impact on student retention and student learning outcomes. Data were available for 7,174 students, entering freshmen from fall 1997 through fall 2001. Between 73.1% and 80.9% of all first-time freshmen had at least 75% of their first semester coursework taught by part-time faculty, and between 6.9% and 12.9% had their entire course load taught by part-time faculty. Overall, first-time freshmen took an average 48% of their coursework form part-time faculty, while 40% of undergraduates as a whole were taught by part-time faculty. The analysis shows that students who were retained into the spring semester took a lower proportion of coursework from part-time faculty than did the overall first-time cohort. Implications from these preliminary findings suggest that institutions should give more thoughtful consideration to where part-time faculty are used and the potential effects of such use on students during the freshman year. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables, and 39 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Institutional Research (41st, Long Beach, CA, June 3-6, 2001).