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ERIC Number: ED563868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-0330-3
A Culture of Excellence: Professional Development as an Instrument of Change
Williams-McMillan, Yvonne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Roosevelt University
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which a signature faculty professional development program has impacted the pedagogical values and practices of the faculty members, and its contribution to the transformation of the climate, culture, and student achievement of a large urban two-year community college system. In 2007, the Institute for Faculty Excellence (IFE), a new and innovative faculty professional development program, was implemented to help faculty members strengthen and enhance their pedagogical skills in order to engage students with diverse needs and learning styles in the classroom. A major assumption underlying this program was that "teachers who can skillfully enact a specific set of core practices would be more likely to support and advance student learning" (Cummings-Hlas & Hlas, 2012, p.77). Since its inception, more than 600 faculty members have received practical instruction in: reform-based teaching and learning strategies; designing measurable course objectives and student learning outcomes; systematic and embedded assessment of student learning at the individual course, program, and institutional levels; and expanding the use of technology in the classroom. This study is the first comprehensive system-wide assessment of the IFE program. Because this study is primarily interested in: the extent of reform-oriented teaching practices that faculty members have embraced; the extent to which they understand and appreciate the program's concepts; the benefits they identify related to the program; and the frequency and extent that they apply specific pedagogical techniques in their teaching, Guskey's (2000) adaptation of Kirkpatrick's (1994, 1996) four levels of program evaluation was chosen to guide the inquiry and contextualization of the study's findings in relationship to the literature. In addition, program theory was chosen in order to help construct a rational and plausible model of how a program should work, and grounded theory was selected to help "determine how--and sometimes why--participants often construct meanings and actions in specific situations" (Charmaz, 2006, p. 132). A mixed-methods single case design was selected as the methodological approach in order to take advantage of the complementary strengths of both the quantitative and the qualitative research paradigms. Subsequent to the analysis and triangulation of the data, the following 6 themes emerged: instructional strategies, curricular knowledge, classroom management, professional opportunities, personal growth, efficacious learning. These themes were consistent with the literature that claims there is a demonstrable link between teacher motivation and job satisfaction, manifesting in the perception that motivated faculty members look for better ways to do their job, care about their students, take pride in their work, and become more productive. However, the findings from this this study emphasize that the separate and distinct meanings and values that faculty members ascribe to their professional development experiences are often overlooked when using many of the prevalent program evaluation models to determine a program's success. The knowledge gained from this study clearly show that a more theoretical understanding of the professional development experience from the perspectives of various stakeholders is warranted in order to ensure that faculty members' evolving personal and professional needs and interests are recognized and satisfied. Recommendations and implications for this, and future research are included. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A