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Socio-spatial experiences of part-time community college faculty




Winans, Jessica, author
Muñoz, Susana, advisor
Doe, Sue, committee member
Kuntz, Aaron, committee member
Lynham, Sue, committee member

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Nearly half of the undergraduate student population in the United States attends community colleges (Bailey, Jaggars, & Jenkins, 2015), and in serving these students, community colleges rely heavily on part-time faculty (Jaeger & Egan, 2009). The reliance on part-time faculty is typically cost-motivated and a symptom of the neoliberal influences on higher education (Levin, 2007; Saunders, 2008). Part-time faculty often lack resources and support, are poorly compensated, do not receive benefits, and their teaching schedules are inconsistent and unreliable (Caruth & Caruth, 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine the everyday lived experiences of part-time community college faculty through a socio-spatial lens. The research was conducted as a case study and conceptually framed by institutional ethnography and critical geography. Methods included interviews, mental sketch mapping, and document analysis. The combination of methods was entirely qualitative and framed from a constructivist lens. Mental sketch mapping led to reflective spatial narratives that uncovered the ways that part-time faculty influenced and were influenced by spaces. Findings included the limited spaces participants utilized and felt comfortable in at the college, the lengths that they went to support their students, the challenges and barriers faced in teaching and other work including poor classroom and office spaces, and the lack of inclusion, despite the institution's efforts. The ruling relations of the college were evident in individual interactions, uses of space, and institutional policies and processes.


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