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ERIC Number: ED579830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 152
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3553-5378-5
Part-Time Community College Instructors Teaching in Learning Communities: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study
Paterson, John W.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Community colleges have a greater portion of students at-risk for college completion than four-year schools and faculty at these institutions are overwhelmingly and increasingly part-time. Learning communities have been identified as a high-impact practice with numerous benefits documented for community college instructors and students: a primary one being increased student engagement which is linked to persistence in college. The learning community strategy, however, requires institutional commitment to implement and part-time community college faculty are often insufficiently integrated into student success initiatives. This exploratory multiple case study examined the phenomenon of adjunct faculty teaching in learning communities at community colleges for the purpose of identifying areas of further study and to develop or strengthen hypotheses. The issue was considered in the context of institutional environment and history, instructor education and background, instructor recruitment and selection, and pre-service training and orientation. Instructor satisfaction, their perceived effectiveness of the learning community strategy and reflections on student engagement provided the construct of program success. Research was conducted at three diverse community colleges located on eastern seaboard of the United States through an analysis of data collected in qualitative interviews with part-time instructors and administrators, a review of the literature and an examination of institutional data. The findings suggest community colleges with a history of learning communities, and seasoned administrators, may have success implementing the strategy with minimal effort when utilizing traditionally prepared adjunct faculty in the social and behavioral sciences. Areas for future research identified include: identifying characteristics of adjunct faculty correlated to, or predictive of, program success: a study of pre-service training for adjunct faculty teaching in learning communities to improve program success without being burdensome or costly; and an exploration of the issue from the student perspective. This information will benefit community college leaders, administrators, students and adjunct faculty involved with learning communities. [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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A