Adjunct experiences with and perceptions of professional development at a Texas community college
Universities and colleges have developed an over-reliance on adjunct faculty, and as a result, researchers have begun to study adjunct faculty satisfaction as it relates to their working conditions. Current research indicates that professional development is a source that can contribute to satisfaction at work (Hoyt, 2012). However, the research does not give us a sense of the adjunct experience with and perceptions of professional development. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences and perceptions of adjuncts with professional development at a single Texas community college. I conducted a qualitative design with a phenomenological approach. I interviewed sixteen participants. Of this 16, twelve were adjunct faculty, and four were administrators at a Texas community college in the Houston area. Interviews proceeded in 2 rounds and were guided by the major research question: what are adjunct faculty experiences with faculty development at a single institution. During data collection and analysis, adjunct faculty stated they do not frequently participate in professional development; however, when they do participate, it lessens their feelings of being invisible on-campus and connects them to their colleagues. In addition, participants described meaningful professional development. I identified six key themes: scheduling, communication, level/target, content, focus, and participation.