Date of Award
Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Education
Center for the Advancement of Education
The tremendous increase of part-time faculty members has been well documented in recent years and continued growth trends are predicted. From 1970 to 1980, part-time faculty members increased faster than full-time faculty and recent studies estimate that at least one in every three faculty members is employed part-time. While the use of adjunct faculty has helped many colleges adjust to uncertain and fluctuating funding patterns, the instructional efficacy of the use of adjunct faculty may be questioned. In Florida, this nationwide trend is of particular importance since students must take and pass a test of college-level computation and communication skills prior to being awarded the associate in arts degree or matriculating to the junior year. Of adjunct faculty do not perform as well in the classroom as full-time faculty the consequences of the inflated use of part-time faculty in core competency courses is of serious concern. It was the purpose of this study to compare and analyze the achievement of students taught by full-time faculty members as measured by scores on the College-Level Academic Skills Test. Succinctly, in the study, 500 St. Petersburg Junior College students who took the College-Level Academic Skills Test during three testing sessions in 1988 and 1989, were randomly sampled. The sample population was divided according to part-time or full-time instruction and relevant College-Level Academic Skills Test subtest scores were statistically compared to determine if there was a significant difference in the means between the two groups. Additionally, mean comparisons were also made between the two groups when prior academic achievement or entry-level skills were controlled. Finally, the chi square statistic was calculated to determine if there was a significant difference in the proportion of students taught by adjunct instructors passing each of the subtests and the proportion of students taught by full-time instructors and passing each of the subtests. Overall, the teaching effectiveness of part-time faculty was found to be the same as that of full--time faculty instructing College-Level Academic Skills Test competency, course. Although the writing subtest mean scores, as indicated by t-test results, were significantly higher in the sample group taught by part-time instructors, this significance was not great enough to affect passing rates, as determined by the chi square test results. The results of the study indicated that use of part-time instructors to teach College-Level Academic Skills Test competency courses was warranted. In light of the test results, no significant difference in teaching effectiveness was shown between part-time and full-time instructors. Therefore, instructor/course reassignment was not shown to be necessary.