An investigation of the characteristics of part-time faculty in Florida community colleges


ABSTRACT This study investigated Florida Community Colleges to identify the characteristics of part-time faculty; the nature of policies relating to them; and the relationship between part-time faculty and other institutional characteristics. This study had two phases. First, a demographic profile of part-time faculty was developed through analysis of raw data submitted by the colleges to the state as part of the 1986-88 Annual Personnel Reports. Second, a questionnaire was used to collect data on policies and practices related to part-time faculty. The data indicated that part-time faculty were similar to full-time in race and sex distributions. Parttimers were less likely to possess advanced degrees and had been employed fewer years by their current institution. Colleges with lower than average revenues per student, especially urban colleges, tended to employ higher proportions of part-timers. Colleges were apparently relying on part-timers to meet fast-growing enrollments within budgetary limitations. Although no relationship was found between employing higher proportions of part-timers and graduates' future grades (GPA) at state universities or performance on the Florida College Level Academic Skills Test, there was a relationship between higher proportions of courses taught by part-timers and lower GPA of students transferring prior to earning 60 credits. The proportion of total courses taught by part-timers was generally 2.3 times less than the proportion of parttimers employed. Part-timers were teaching only a fraction of the load of full-timers. College policies were unrelated to the amount of part-time faculty use. However, attitudes of administrators at colleges with fewer part-timers seemed less favorable toward use of part-timers than that of administrators at other colleges. Recommendations were made to develop improved databases on part-time and full-time faculty characteristics and attitudes; establish a statewide task force to study part-time faculty personnel policies and make recommendations; research the Florida funding formula to determine if disparities are causing some colleges to rely more on part-timers; research the effect of part-timers on future GPA of transfer students; and expand this study to include a representative regional or national sample of colleges and universities.


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Graduation Date





Harrow, Thomas L.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services




222 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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