The socialization of adjunct faculty into the academic culture of a public community college campus

Debra Ann Shannon, Florida International University


This study investigated the socialization of adjunct faculty into the academic culture of a community college campus. Because of the increased utilization of adjunct faculty, the need to socialize them to effectively function within the organizational culture has become more acute. A review of the literature revealed that when employees are socialized, they are more committed to the goals and welfare of the organization, are less likely to leave the organization, and are more productive and innovative. Therefore, it is important that administrators have programs and practices in place that would help to integrate adjunct faculty into the academic culture. The model of organizational socialization (Chao, O'Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein, & Gardner, 1994) formed the framework for this study, which was guided by the following research questions: How do adjunct faculty members describe their socialization into the culture of their college campus? How do administrators describe their roles and that of the organization in the socialization of adjunct faculty members? What organizational programs and activities are in place for the socialization of adjunct faculty? The North Campus of Miami Dade College was the site for this study, as it is a campus with a long history of utilizing adjunct faculty members and one that has a clearly-stated mission of adjunct faculty socialization. A qualitative case study method was used, and data collection included interviews and the review and analysis of institutional documents. The participants included 11 adjunct faculty members, 4 department chairpersons, the campus president, and the college training and development coordinator. The study revealed that there were structured and consistent professional development programs, but these conflicted with the schedules of adjunct faculty. Overall, adjunct faculty found support from the leadership; however, they revealed a need for more mentoring, more interactions with full-time faculty, and more input in decision making concerning textbooks and curricula. Implications and recommendations for practice include making professional development more accessible and relevant to adjunct faculty, developing a formal mentoring program where full-time faculty and veteran adjunct faculty mentor novice adjunct faculty, and involving adjuncts in decisions regarding curriculum and textbook selection.

Subject Area

Community college education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Shannon, Debra Ann, "The socialization of adjunct faculty into the academic culture of a public community college campus" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3298597.