Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kurimay, Michael

Second Advisor

Hauser, Mary

Third Advisor

Cepelka, Angeline


An extensive literature review of professional staff-development programs for adjunct faculty was the motivation for this study. The literature provided numerous examples of adjunct staff-development at the community college level. The literature also suggested that four-year colleges and universities were hiring an increasing number of adjunct faculty. What was absent in the literature was a discussion of professional staff-development of adjunct faculty at the four-year college level. This study sought to investigate the use of adjunct faculty at small colleges and universities and to seek out any successful programming for this population. The methodology of this research is qualitative. As the researcher is the lens of a qualitative study, the reader should be aware of any researcher bias. As the study focuses on adjunct faculty staff-development, it should be pointed out that the researcher was an adjunct faculty for over eight years and is currently working with adjunct faculty staff-development programming. Every effort was made, however, to focus on the research questions, to use triangulation to strengthen the validity of the study and to carefully follow the protocol of the study. The researcher also may be biased in the study's definition of staff-development. Several authors in the literature review perceived adjunct faculty involvement with the identity and mission of the college as the primary focus of adjunct faculty staff-development. The researcher agrees that a connection to the college mission and philosophy through formative development is essential to the adjunct faculty as an integral part of the college culture.



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