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Examining the Building Blocks for an Effective Blended Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Learning Model

Laurel Messina Duluk (North Shore Community College, USA)
Lance Eaton (North Shore Community College, USA)
Additional Authors
Michael Badolato (North Shore Community College, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 1:30pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Blended Program/Degree
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere C
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 7

Examining an effective hybrid Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Model; Connecting Adjuncts to the College breeds student success. What does ten years of research say?

Extended Abstract

Twenty-first century educators find themselves facing a series of problems and choices unimagined in traditional models of education. Explore how your institution can address the issues associated with the expanding adjunct faculty, the false dichotomy between workforce and liberal education skills, and the onslaught of technology through the development and implementation of a high quality, effective hybrid professional development program for adjunct faculty. This practical, research-based approach to building an adjunct faculty community of learners lends itself to the creation of forums addressing diversity and inclusion, high-impact teaching practices, integration of seemingly conflicting pathways, and examining the advance applications in technology. Participant faculty build a solid collegial network, interact with resource and support departments and reinforce their connections to the institution. This updated and energized interaction creates a culture of transformation and innovation which is then shared with students and impacts both retention rates and student success. To their students, adjuncts ARE the institution.

Because research indicates that students are more successful when they are connected to their institution; feeling valued and supported, increasing students' sense of "belonging" is essential. Many adjuncts may feel the same disconnectedness and detachment as students, yet they represent the institution. To create this type of environment, a necessary first step is to build relationships with adjuncts. This presentation examines a ten year longitudinal research study generated by a hybrid adjunct faculty professional development program model that supports effective teaching practices, promotes student success, develops collegial relationships, provides assessment tools and strategies, and strengthens college as a learning community; helping adjuncts feel more connected.

The emphasis of the presentation involves the use of a blended adjunct professional development program model examined over a ten year period that describes the research findings, the theory and conceptual framework the study and the program were based on, and the practical applications, using a hands-on approach for designing, implementing and providing effective training and support for this unique and necessary group of professionals and the strategies and best practice guidelines used.

The work and research depicted in this presentation continues to have important implications for all educators, across all college levels because although the literature reviewed several models for faculty professional development, few studies have been conducted on adjunct professional development needs and the types of professional development programs adjuncts perceive as valuable and beneficial to their teaching practices. Moreover, there have been fewer studies conducted comparing the "best practices" components of professional development models to the perceptions and preferences of adjunct faculty. This presentation examines a one-year adjunct professional development program model offered to adjuncts within a community college setting. It examines the types of curricula content and program characteristics adjuncts perceive as valuable to their teaching practices compared to those components included in the one-year adjunct professional program model over a ten year period; what has been found to work and what does not appear to work for this group of professionals.


This session is specifically applicable to administrators who supervise faculty/adjunct faculty,those who are responsible for providing faculty professional development,and instructional technology personnel who provide online/ hybrid faculty training;as well as adjunct faculty themselves, including all levels of college teaching.

Workshop Participant Learning Objectives and Interaction Plan:

? Explore a model for designing and implementing a professional development program aimed at supporting instructional pedagogy and collegial networking through building an Adjunct Faculty Learning Community of Practice.
? Examine the ten year longitudinal case study research that supports this model.
? Examine the theories and practices used to design, develop, and implement this model.
? Examine the types of curricula content adjuncts prefer and their perceptions toward professional development and training.
? Construct institution specific plans to re-invent innovative professional development for adjunct and full-time faculty using online, hybrid, other forms of technology.
? Identify key areas of need in fully integrating workforce development, liberal education, and technological advancement; 21st Century Learning.
? Contrast policies addressing resources and support for adjunct and full-time faculty in their own institutions.

- Participants will be asked to interact, question, and discuss the model(s) and research presented as they may be applicable to their own institutions. What might work/ not work? Open forum/ discussion.

No Special Equipment Needs

Presenters will bring own technology equipment for power-point

Material to be provided by presenters:

- Handout of power-point presentation with presenters' contact information
- Information Package
- Research and Resource References

Lead Presenter

Dean of the Liberal Studies Division, North Shore Community College; continue to teach adjunct faculty within the Behavioral Science Dept., online and hybrid courses. Former Assistant Dean, supervising approximately 275 adjunct faculty. I have spent the past ten years researching and developing Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Program models that have graduated approximately 225 adjunct faculty. I completed my doctoral program in educational leadership at Johnson & Wales Univ.; my dissertation and up-coming book due to be published by Stylus Publishing LLC in early 2016 entitled "Building Blocks to Improve the Quality of Adjunct Faculty Teaching: Examining Effective Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Models" provides both quantitative and qualitative longitudinal research and examines best practices and the unique needs and profile of the adjunct faculty.