Date of Graduation

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

James Hammons

Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Suzanne McCray

Keywords

Community Colleges, Faculty Engagement, Faculty Involvement, Outcomes Assessment, Student Learning Outcomes, Two-year Institutions

Abstract

This narrative research study was conducted to explore the experiences of full-time community college faculty members involved in assessment of student learning beyond the course level. The participants in this study were employed at public two-year institutions of higher education regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission that had been recognized for their work in assessment. All participants in the study were involved in program or institutional level assessment during the time of the study. The central research question this study addressed was: What factors influenced community college faculty members to become involved with assessment of student learning beyond the course level and what are their recommendations for increasing faculty participation in institutional or program level assessment? To answer the research question the researcher conducted one-hour, semi-structured interviews with nine participants working at three different institutions. All nine participants were asked the same 14 open-ended interview questions that were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed.

Prior published research documented the need for more community college faculty involvement with assessment at the program and institutional levels; however, there was little research based on faculty experiences with assessment at these levels. This study adds to the body of literature about community college faculty participation with assessment by sharing the perspectives of faculty members who had participated with either program or institutional assessment on their campus. The shared experiences of the participants in this study revealed that faculty commitment to assessment for the purpose of improving programs or the institution was largely influenced by the actions of the leaders at their institutions. This study also provides recommendations to institutional leaders, policy makers, and other faculty who want to increase faculty involvement with assessment beyond the course level.