Tag Archives: mentoring

Examining an adjunct faculty professional development program model for a community college

Messina, L. S. (2011). Examining an adjunct faculty professional development program model for a community college.  
(Ph.D.). (AAI3461092). Retrieved from http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3461092

This study looked at a one-year Adjunct Faculty Professional Development program in a two-year multi-campus community college in Massachusetts.  The study focuses on the development of curricula content for professional development and program characteristics of adult learning.  A fully developed background and description of the study followed by an extensive literature review.  The study was equally quantitative and qualitative.  The quantitative questions explored the differences between those adjunct faculty who participated in the professional development program and those who did not.  They also questioned the differences among adjunct faculty perceptions, based on the number of years of teaching experiences, of program characteristics that were perceived as being valuable .  The qualitative questions explored more deeply the responses from the quantitative portion of the study.  The study use 57 adjuncts who participated in the program and 101 who did not for the quantitative survey.  Twenty-eight focus groups accounted for the qualitative portion of the study.  Two surprising findings in this study were the major themes of a lack of mentoring and the need for better orientation.

Perceptions of community college adjunct faculty and division chairpersons

Diegel, B. L. (2013). Perceptions of community college adjunct faculty and division chairpersons: Support, mentoring, and professional development to sustain academic quality. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 37(8), 596-607. doi:10.1080/10668926.2012.720863

This dissertation explores the differences in perceptions of community college chair persons and adjunct faculty with respect to the support, mentoring, and professional development of adjuncts. The researcher conducted her investigation at a mid-sized rural community college and chose participants in the Humanities, English, and Science departments. The college had a contingent of adjunct faculty that comprised thirty percent of the teaching staff. The role of divisional chairpersons in the support, or non-support, of adjunct faculty is viewed through an interpretvist lens which allows for looking at multiple realities emanating from a common context. The research looked at the experiences and perceptions of fifteen adjunct faculty and three chair persons through a set of semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The study attempts to answer three questions: What is the perception of division chair people of adjunct faculty members on campus; What is the perception of adjunct faculty regarding the role of division chair people in providing teaching support, mentoring, and professional development opportunities; and What, if anything, do division chair people do to support or hinder adjunct faculty on campus.  The social identity theory was used as a lens to understand how adjunct faculty perceived their roles at the college.  The researcher noted that “taking the time to understand this culture from the perspective of the adjunct faculty will allow division chairs to better serve their needs which, in turn, will benefit students and academic departments in a positive way so learning and quality can thrive.”  There were four roles identified for the chair persons – professional resource link, institutional authority or representative, and evaluator conducting ongoing assessment.  The research identified three major findings concerning adjunct faculty needs – teaching preparedness, feeling valued, and communication.  The limitations of the study were well-noted and there was no attempt to generalize the findings beyond the studied institution. The findings from the research may offer important insights to those that manage adjuncts and to institutional leaders where adjuncts are part of the community.

Mentoring and other professional support for faculty in institutions of higher learning

Osa, J., Oliver, A., & Walker, T. (2015). Mentoring and other professional support for faculty in institutions of higher learning: A study report. In A. A. Howley, & M. B. Trube (Eds.), Mentoring for the professions: Orienting toward the future (pp. 127-143)

This study report looked at 45 full-time faculty and the perceived impact of mentoring for these individuals.  Of note is the similarities in perception to those of adjunct faculty in other studies.  The research attempted to answer four questions: (1) What do faculty members think of mentoring? (2) What are the areas in which faculty members receive professional support? (3) What did mentors do to support and develop the all-around growth of mentees? (4) What are the hindrances to mentoring in an institution of higher learning?.  A large majority of respondents (64%) felt that mentoring was very beneficial. Mentoring support proved to be highest in areas of understanding the culture of the institution and resource awareness.  The methods of mentor strategies that topped the list included modeling professionalism and valuing the mentees knowledge and experience, as well as share of personal success and failures.  Some impediments to mentoring of full-time faculty mirror that of mentoring adjunct faculty, including: lack of time, lack of institutional support, and lack of incentives.  The writers conclude that mentoring is an “effective strategy for reducing the stress, pain, frustration, insecurity, and failure” that new members in higher education may experience.

A learning Outcomes model for mentoring adjunct faculty

Maybee, R. (2015). A learning Outcomes model for mentoring adjunct faculty. In A. A. Howley, & M. B. Trube (Eds.), Mentoring for the professions : Orienting toward the future (pp. 187-203)

After a brief overview of recent literature concerning adjunct faculty needs, Maybee puts forward a practical approach to mentoring adjunct faculty.  Maybee asserts that using the learning outcomes model presented in this article “can foster an effective, interactive, and dynamic mentor-mentee relationship” (p.201).  Using a combination of learning tools and learning outcomes to establish a sense of accountability he develops a program for more successful collaboration between the mentor and mentee.  Five communication tools are given to assist the reader in developing a program of adjunct faculty development.  These include: building rapport and community with full-time instructors and other adjuncts; constructive evaluation of adjunct teaching and class management; seeking alternative methods, attitudes, and techniques; maintaining accountability for action plans, progress, introspection, and evaluation.  Learning outcomes forming the basis of the plan can include demonstrating successful learner-centered teaching strategies, improved classroom/course management, and improved teaching by applying technology.  Maybee offers a completed model to assist the reader, and suggestions on building your own model based on the individual needs of mentors and mentees.

Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty

Coburn-Collins, A. (2014). Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty. Paper presented at the Higher Learning Commission 2014 Annual Conference, http://cop.hlcommission.org/Learning-Environments/coburn-collins.html.

The five best practices outlined in this conference paper are practical steps that every institution can take to help develop a campus culture that accepts adjunct faculty as equal partners in student success. From a comprehensive orientation to recognition for quality work these practices this institution set up an Office of Adjunct Faculty Support with a budget of $250,000, roughly the cost of four tenure-track assistant professors.  This program supports 350 adjuncts.  The math alone suggests that the investment is well spent and the return on investment is measured in improved student success and a “sense of belonging” among the adjuncts.

A model for orientation and mentoring of online adjunct faculty in nursing

Brannagan, K. B., & Oriol, M. (2014). A model for orientation and mentoring of online adjunct faculty in nursing. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35(2), 128-30.

This short article looks at an online adjunct faculty mentoring model (OAFMM) supported by social cognitive theory. The use of individuals with extensive expertise in a given specialty has both benefits and drawbacks for students.  Often these adjuncts have little or no teaching experience, especially an online adjunct faculty.  The article looks at various components of a model designed to create adequately prepared, engaged, and engaging, adjunct faculty through orientation and mentoring.