Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1998

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the status of and need for faculty development in the 14 community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents System. The study examined the status of faculty development, importance of scholarship, perceived needs, preferred faculty development topics, and methods of instruction. A review of demographic characteristics was conducted to develop a profile of TBR community college faculty and to assess the relationship between these demographic variables and the need for and selection of faculty development topics. Data collection was conducted using the Faculty Development Questionnaire . A selective random sample was drawn from 1,619 full-time community college faculty employed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Based on the sample method, 325 full-time faculty were selected as participants in the study. Three hundred twenty-five self-administered questionnaires were mailed to selected full-time faculty at each of the fourteen community colleges. Data collection occurred over a four week period. Two hundred six questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 63.4%. The findings in this study demonstrated a clear need for faculty development. Respondents indicated that faculty development was important to their academic and professional growth and teaching effectiveness and was critical to their roles as faculty members. The faculty reported a need for scholarship-related activities and indicated that scholarly pursuit has led them to higher levels of professionalism and collegiality. Faculty respondents indicated that teaching innovation and research are vital to the growth and development of the community college. This study also found that most faculty indicated that their respective college administrations supported faculty development but did not adequately fund faculty development programs. A majority of the respondents reported that most faculty development programs were well organized and useful. Some faculty, however, indicated that faculty development could be an intrusion in the teaching-learning environment. Teaching innovations and multimedia development were ranked as the most preferred faculty development topics with workshops and seminars ranked as the most preferred methods of instruction. The study found no relationship between the need for faculty development and faculty age, professional status, or teaching discipline. Furthermore, no relationship was found between the selection of faculty development topics and any of the demographic variables profiled in the study. The findings of the study indicated that Tennessee's community college faculty members are "graying" with over 80% being over the age of 40. A majority hold Master's degrees, hold the rank of associate professor, and have had pedagogical training.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access