Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
With widened access to higher education, and a rise in the enrollment of diverse students, it is increasingly important to understand the experiences of the adjunct faculty members who teach these students. While a number of studies have been conducted on adjunct faculty, most of them focus only on the challenges they face in higher education in general. Few studies have been conducted specifically on their experiences teaching business and management courses in a college of professional studies and/or continuing education. In this qualitative study, thirteen adjuncts with 4 to 30 years of teaching experience in two different universities were interviewed about their experiences. Results emphasized strategies they develop to teach diverse students, and strategies they use to improve their teaching and learning. The key findings were that participants (a) have a sense of empowerment that has contributed to their perception of self-efficacy and (b) are challenged due to the increase in the ethnic, culture and linguistic diversity of students, how students are matriculated into college/university and the rise of students' incivility. Yet, these adjunct faculty are still able to develop effective teaching strategies to teach these students, including helping second-language students cope with coursework, using self-reflection to evaluate their own teaching effectiveness, using practical experience to show students examples and resources, drawing on their international business experience to inform their approach to cultural differences, emphasizing life-relevant knowledge rather than rote memorization and cultivating empathy for students. Further, this study identified other issues adjuncts are facing such as lack of support by the institutions that employ them. These findings have implications for adjunct faculty members, higher education administrators, and policy makers.
Creative Commons License
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Number of Pages
Macrae, Yvonne, "Navigating the New American Classroom: How Adjunct Faculty Empower Themselves to Reach Out to the New Diverse Population of Students" (2016). Educational Studies Dissertations. 6.