Contingent Faculty Viewpoints on the Experiences and Challenges of Teaching in Higher Education

Shevelle Godwin, Fayetteville State University


The purpose of this study was to explore contingent faculty perceived experiences and challenges of teaching in higher education and to give voice to their job satisfaction and professional development opportunities on college and university campuses. Contingent faculty possesses enormous experiences and their expertise adds a wealth of knowledge to higher education. However, it should be noted that many contingent faculty are content or appear to be content with working part-time. The qualitative study interviewed sixteen contingent faculty by phone who were employed in higher educational setting. Several recurring themes and patterns given by the participants on the allowed the following themes to emerged: (a) meaningless and vague annual evaluations, (b) accumulated knowledge and best practices (c) collaboration with other professionals, (d) professionally fulfilling, (e) lack of support services, (f) opportunities to attend department meetings, (g) support for student complaints and grade appeals, (h) low course loads and uncertain future teaching contracts, (i) imprecise job security, (j) collegiality and respectability, and (k) opportunities for professional development. The researcher recommends that future research on this topic include other conversations with deans and department chairs across the country to implement change. The implications for change based on the findings were the inclusion of a welcoming environment for contingent faculty upon hire, to include professional development and collegial connections.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Godwin, Shevelle, "Contingent Faculty Viewpoints on the Experiences and Challenges of Teaching in Higher Education" (2018). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI13872023.