Faculty and administrators' perceptions of diversity in community colleges
There has been much advancement regarding diversity in today's society, so much that that diversity can be found in many facets of institutions of higher learning throughout the world. However the gains, the fact remains that in today's society implementing diversity within higher education institutions remains a challenge. The purpose of this study was to analyze faculty and administrators' perceptions of diversity in higher education and to investigate why diversity has not reached a satisfactory level in community colleges. Possible reasons were thought to include (1) racial differences in how diversity is defined and perceived by faculty members and administrators, (2) the limited number of ethnic minority faculty and administrators, and (3) little commitment to move diversity beyond the written text (e.g., mission statement, strategic plan, etc.). The study was conducted in two phases and a mixed methods research approach was used. During the quantitative phase, a 20-item survey instrument was electronically distributed to 1,958 faculty members and administrators within the Alabama Community College system. The qualitative phase consisted of conducting personal interviews with 10 randomly selected community college presidents. Data collected from the survey responses along with information captured during interviews with the presidents were all complied, analyzed, formatted, and presented as results in chapter IV. Seven implications were suggested as a result of this study, which will better equip the Alabama Community College System as it strives to meet the diversity challenges within its organization.