A study of adjunct faculty

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


Adjunct faculty who teach part-time comprise about half the professoriate, making them essential to the operation of academic programs. On campuses which utilize adjunct faculty extensively, underestimating the support needs of adjunct faculty could translate into difficulty creating and maintaining a highly qualified adjunct workforce and diminished educational experiences for students. A review of the literature revealed there was very little data investigating the variables affecting the perceptions adjunct faculty had regarding support and services provided to them in relation to their performance as teachers. Therefore, the purpose of this quantitative descriptive research study was to investigate the services and support provided to, and utilized by adjunct faculty at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), and how they perceived that various types of support affected their teaching. In addition, this study investigated whether adjunct faculty perceptions of services and support provided by OIT differed on the basis of demographic variables such as age, gender, number of years employed as an adjunct, educational degrees, and department or discipline. The sample for this research included 106 adjunct faculty who taught at OIT's Klamath Falls and Portland campuses. An on-line survey was sent to each of these adjunct faculty. Descriptive statistics and Chi-Square analysis were used in this research study. Results indicated most of the respondents did not engage in support activities at OIT, although they reported feedback on their teaching and developing curriculum improved their teaching. There was no significant difference of perceptions of services and support on the basis of the demographic variables.




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