Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Workforce Development Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Kit Kacerik

Second Committee Member

Adam Morris

Keywords

Education; Adjunct faculty; Faculty effectiveness; Faculty qualifications; Part-time faculty; Student success

Abstract

Providing the best qualified faculty to ensure the most successful student outcomes is a priority in higher education. The use of adjunct faculty in colleges and universities is continually increasing, especially for lower level courses. Previous research has come to conflicting conclusions regarding the quality of adjunct faculty. Indicators of student success were compared between part-time instructors with professional doctoral degrees and full-time instructors with academic doctoral degrees. Results of statistical analyses of both a comparison of final grade distributions and knowledge of course content determined that there were no significant differences between two comparable groups of students in a freshman-level anatomy and physiology course. There were also no statistically significant differences in student outcomes of the subsequent course of anatomy and physiology or in the acceptance rates of students to allied health programs based on their instructors' qualifications in the first semester anatomy and physiology course. The results of this study suggest that students of part-time faculty with professional doctoral degrees have the same levels of success as those students who had full-time faculty in the same course.

Share

COinS