Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Mary L. Vogel

Committee Member

Anthony Pellegrini


community college, technical college, faculty perspectives, minorities, minoritized students, achievement gap


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of community college faculty and the impact of those perceptions on the academic success of African American and Hispanic students. Within the context of the achievement gap, finding out how colleges can better serve disadvantaged students supported the aims of this study. This research strove to contribute to the literature on 2-year institutions of higher education and to provide research from the perspective of 2-year faculty. The findings of this study could contribute to faculty professional development, onboarding, and environmental changes for 2-year institutions in support of the academic success of minoritized students.

Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 8 current and former 2-year faculty who have taught at a community or technical college for at least one academic year. The data collected were explored to develop an understanding of the perspectives and pedagogical practices of 2-year faculty. All responses to the interview questions were analyzed thematically by coding and the discovery of emergent themes.

Through the results of this study, several themes emerged that were essential to understanding the perspectives and teaching practices of faculty to teach at 2-year institutions. The key factors included: (a) faculty perceived family educational background as a key indicator of success for minoritized students, (b) faculty perceived socioeconomic status as an indicator of success in minoritized students, (c) faculty acknowledged affinity groups geared towards minoritized student success as effective and beneficial, (d) institutional leadership and its support or shortcomings had a noted impact on how effective faculty could be, (e) cultural competency was consistently acknowledge by faculty as a vital part of their pedagogical practices, (f) empathy was another important aspect of faculty pedagogical practices, (g) faculty found representation important for both faculty and student success, (h) faculty acknowledge that professional development was a personal responsibility and most felt that they grew into their effectiveness as faculty, (i) faculty believed that campus culture had an impact of student academic success, (j) faculty perceived mentorship important to the success of both faculty and students. Understanding these themes could have implications for more successful academic outcomes by minoritized students and a better teaching environment for faculty. Participants noted that the definition of student success should be individualized to the student and their professional journey after completing their studies. A more student-centered, culturally competent approach to teaching has the most significant positive impact on minoritized students.