Desire for Professional Development among Adjunct Business Faculty

By Backhaus, Kristin | The Journal of Faculty Development, January 2009 | Go to article overview

Desire for Professional Development among Adjunct Business Faculty


Backhaus, Kristin, The Journal of Faculty Development


This study provides a foundation for further work about motivation for training and the world of contingent employment in higher education and beyond for adjunct faculty. This sample of adjunct business faculty shows there is much to be learned about why adjunct faculty choose to work in higher education and how they view their own professional development.

Adjunct faculty have become a staple of higher education. There are myriad reasons for this increased reliance on adjunct faculty, including the cost of doctorally trained faculty and lack of availability of full-time faculty in certain disciplines. (Chambers, 2004). These factors challenge colleges to find flexible staffing options (Wallin, 2007). Adjuncts (here defined as part-time temporary teaching faculty) have been the answer to this need for flexibility (Rasell & Appelbaum, 1998) with colleges staffing as many as 46% of their courses with adjuncts (Umbach, 2007).

As use of adjuncts increases, so does pressure for higher education to demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of their institutions (Scherer, Javalgi, Bryant & Tukel, 2005). With a growing sense of urgency about continuous improvement and student learning outcomes, colleges and universities must rely on all faculty, both full-time and adjunct, to deliver quality instruction (Beno, 2004) . Brancato (2003) notes that faculty need a variety of opportunities to learn about students, curriculum and teaching strategies. Further, a study by Burton and colleagues (2005) suggests that faculty need opportunities to increase their teaching efficacy, and in turn, the quality of their teaching. Because many adjunct faculty members are hired on the basis of their professional experience and disciplinary knowledge, it is unlikely that they have received any training in pedagogical methods or curriculum development. Hence the need for faculty development becomes even more pressing for adjunct faculty.

Despite the apparent value of faculty development in meeting desired educational outcomes, adjunct faculty are rarely afforded the chance to participate in professional development or on-the-job training (Smallwood, 2002). Professional development has been identified as a vital ingrethent in the careers of professional employees (Bartlett, 2001). The opportunity to participate in professional development activities like conferences, seminars and workshops signals to individuals that they are valued by the organization, and that the organization is helping to prepare them for future growth and new roles in the organization (Goldstein & Ford, 2002). Waiters and Weeks (1999) found that adjunct faculty felt that they would not really be part of the faculty unless they could participate in skills training and course development activities. In today's "new" psychological contract, employees have come to expect professional development and training as part of their relationship with the organization.

With the exception of a few national surveys of adjunct faculty job satisfaction (cf. National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty), there is no good source of data upon which to judge the interests, needs or desires of adjunct faculty as related to support for professional development. A review of the academic literature in the areas of adjunct faculty, employee training and professional development yields virtually nothing on this topic. This study is aimed at expanding our knowledge about adjunct faculty and their perceived need for and interest in professional development. I examine the roles of expectancy, instrumentality, valence and organizational commitment in predicting interest in professional development.

Conceptual Framework

Professional Development

Professional development focuses on acquisition of skills for future job progression and growth (Werner «Sc DeSimone, 2006). In higher education, faculty development involves fostering skills both in teaching and in research, as well as preparing faculty to manage their careers over time (Mathis, 1982).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Desire for Professional Development among Adjunct Business Faculty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.